Francisco de Goya

Saint Elizabeth of Portugal Curing a Sick Woman (Santa Isabel de Portugal curando a una enferma)

Saint Elizabeth of Portugal Curing a Sick Woman (Santa Isabel de Portugal curando a una enferma)
Datos Generales
Royal Palace, Madrid, Spain
169 x 129 cm
Técnica y soporte
Grisaille tempera on canvas
Reconocimiento de la autoría de Goya
Documented work
National Heritage
Ficha: realización/revisión
01 Feb 2010 / 24 Aug 2022

This work is one of a set of six grisailles produced in 1816 by various artists as overdoors to decorate the queen's bedroom in the Royal Palace in Madrid following the second marriage of Ferdinand VII to Princess María Isabel de Braganza y Borbón (29 September 1816). The artists who worked on the commission along with Goya were Vicente López (who painted two pieces), Zacarías González Velázquez, José Camarón Meliá, and José Aparicio. The subjects of all the overdoors were related to "historical events of the monarchy", as in the case of Saint Elizabeth of Portugal, the queen's namesake. It was the last commission Goya received as court painter.

On the death of Ferdinand VII, Vicente López recorded the six grisailles in the 1834 inventory of the king's possessions, valuing them at 7,500 reales each. When the room was dismantled and transformed into a dining hall in 1879, they were removed and put into storage in a vault of the Royal Palace.

In 1959 the researcher Paulina Junquera published the discovery of a work by Goya conserved in the same Royal Palace (Palacio del Oriente).

Análisis artístico

The composition of the image takes the form of a frieze. The sick woman lies in a supine position, emphasizing the horizontal, while the other figures are gathered around her. At the centre we find Saint Elizabeth in her regal attire, resting her hand on the head of the sick woman and leaning towards her. The linear composition, the strong profile of some figures and the sculptural moulding offered by the grisaille technique give the painting a near neoclassical feel, although the pathos of the faces and the sketchy forms belong to the most anti-classicist current in Goya's art. It shows some similarities with the sketch on the same subject carried out for the paintings of the Church of San Fernando de Torrero in Zaragoza, which features less figures, but in which Saint Elizabeth is depicted in a similar way.

Another important parallel can be drawn with Goya's sketch for the tomb of the Duchess of Alba.

  • Goya
    Musée Jacquemart-André
    consultant editor Jean-Gabriel Domergue. From December 1961 to February 1962
  • Goya
    Koninklijk Kabinet van Schilderijen Mauritshuis
    The Hauge
    organized by Ministerio de Estado y Asuntos Culturales and Réunion des Musées Nationaux, July 4th to September 13th 1970. Exhibited also at the Musée de l’Orangerie des Tuileries, Paris, October 25th to December 7th 1970, consultant editors Jeannine Baticle and A. B. de Vries
  • Goya en las colecciones madrileñas
    Museo Nacional del Prado
    consultant editor Enrique Lafuente Ferrari. From April 19th to June 20th 1983
  • Goya. La imagen de la mujer
    Museo Nacional del Prado
    from October 30th 2001 to February 10th 2002. Exhibitied also at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, March 10th to June 2nd 2002, consultant editor Francisco Calvo Serraller
  • Goya en tiempos de guerra
    Museo Nacional del Prado
    consultant editor Manuela B. Mena Marqués, from April 14th to July 13th 2008
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    Un lienzo inédito de Goya en el Palacio de Oriente
    Archivo Español del ArteXXXII
    pp. 185-192
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    Vie et ouvre de Francisco de Goya
    ParísOffice du livre
    pp. 298, 378, cat. 1.568
  • vol. I, p. 367, cat. 652
  • ANGELIS, Rita de
    L’opera pittorica completa di Goya
    p, 131, cat. 607
    Francisco de Goya, 4 vols.
    ZaragozaCaja de Ahorros de Zaragoza, Aragón y Rioja
    vol. IV, p. 78
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    Goya, la imagen de la mujer
    MadridMuseo Nacional del Prado y Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado
    pp. 232, 335, cat. 56 y p. 233 (il.)
  • MENA MARQUÉS, Manuela B.
    Goya en tiempos de guerra
    MadridMuseo Nacional del Prado
    pp. 456-458, cat. 167 y p. 457 (il.)
Enlaces externos
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