Francisco de Goya

Saint Francis Borgia Assisting a Dying Man (San Francisco de Borja asistiendo a un moribundo) (sketch)

Saint Francis Borgia Assisting a Dying Man (San Francisco de Borja asistiendo a un moribundo) (sketch)
Datos Generales
Ca. 1788
Private collection
38 x 29.3 cm
Técnica y soporte
Oil on canvas
Reconocimiento de la autoría de Goya
Undisputed work
Private collection
Ficha: realización/revisión
01 Jan 2010 / 14 Apr 2021

This is the sketch for the painting located in the right-hand side of the chapel of Saint Francis Borgia in Valencia Cathedral.

It belonged to the collection of Mr. Francisco Acebal y Arratia and later passed to the Marchioness of Santa Cruz in Madrid. The sketch remained there until it was acquired by its current owner. Its history has always been linked to that of the cartoon of its companion painting Saint Francis Saying Goodbye to his Family.

Análisis artístico

The scene essentially maintains the same composition that we see in the definitive work; however, there are some differences in this sketch which make it a more tense and anguished piece. The monsters in this sketch are more terrifying, while in the final piece they acquire a more human aspect, though they retain their brutish nature. The impenitent twists more violently, clenching his fist, his legs shaking, as expressed by the highlighting Goya has applied to the green bedcover. The saint is placed closer to the sick man, almost opposite the viewer, looking at the floor in order to avoid the horrible appearance of the man who will be exorcised with the miraculous blood of Christ which spurts from the crucifix. Plaster moulding decorates the window with cross arms which would not appear in the final canvas.

The red ground of the canvas is visible in many sections of the painting, above all in the area of the bed.

According to Wilson, this is an earthly composition which was made more elegant to decorate Valencia Cathedral, although the definitive work and its companion painting mark a change in Goya's religious work, which acquires a more realistic air despite the addition of monsters.

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    Museo Nacional del Prado
    consultant editor Fernando Álvarez de Sotomayor. From Apri to -May 1928
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    The Royal Academy of Arts
    cat. 66
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    Galerie des Beaux-Arts
    Exhibitied also at Grand Palais, París y Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid
  • Goya en las colecciones madrileñas
    Museo Nacional del Prado
    consultant editor Enrique Lafuente Ferrari. From April 19th to June 20th 1983
  • Goya. El Capricho y la Invención. Cuadros de gabinete, bocetos y miniaturas
    Museo Nacional del Prado
    from November 18th 1993 to February 15th 1994. Exhibited also at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, March 18th to June 12th 1994 and The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, July 16th to October 16th 1994, consultant editors Manuela B. Mena Marqués and Juliet Wilson-Bareau
  • Goya y Maella en Valencia. Del boceto al cuadro de altar
    Catedral y Museo de Bellas Artes
    organized by Subsecretaría de Promoción Cultural de la Generalitat Valenciana, Consorcio de Museos de la Comunitad Valenciana, Arzobispado de Valencia and Museo de Bellas Artes de Valencia, consultant editor Benito Navarrete Prieto. From March to May 2002
  • Goya: Prophet der Moderne
    Alte Nationalgalerie
    from July 13th to October 3th 2005. Exhibitied also at the Kunsthistorischemuseum, Vienna, October 18th 2005 to January 8th 2006, consultant editor Manuela B. Mena Marqués
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    ParísOffice du livre
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  • vol. I, p. 275, cat. 259
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    p. 103, cat. 227
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    ZaragozaCaja de Ahorros de Zaragoza, Aragón y Rioja
    vol. II, p. 62 y p. 69 (il.)
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    Goya. El capricho y la invención. Cuadros de gabinete, bocetos y miniaturas
    MadridMuseo del Prado
    pp. 146-151, cat. 17 y p. 149 (il.)
  • NAVARRETE PRIETO, Benito (comisario)
    Goya y Maella en Valencia. Del boceto al cuadro de altar
    ValenciaGeneralitat Valenciana
    pp. 98-102, cat. 10
Enlaces externos
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