Francisco de Goya

Virgin of the Pillar (Virgen del Pilar)

Clasificación
Virgin of the Pillar (Virgen del Pilar)
Datos Generales
Cronología
Ca. 1772 - 1775
Ubicación
Museum of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain
Dimensiones
56 x 42 cm
Técnica y soporte
Oil on canvas
Reconocimiento de la autoría de Goya
Documented work
Titular
Museo de Zaragoza
Ficha: realización/revisión
07 Jan 2010 / 12 Oct 2020
Inventario
75 (9259)
Historia

This work was presumably created for one of Goya's relatives as a devotional painting. It was inherited by Ms. Francisca Lucientes, a descendent of his uncle Miguel, his mother's brother.

The Royal Academy of Noble and Fine Arts of San Luis acquired the canvas from the Lucientes family in 1926, together with another dedicated to the death of Saint Francis Xavier, and both works were entrusted to the Museum of Zaragoza.

Análisis artístico

The Virgin of the Pillar is placed at the centre of the composition, standing out against the ray of light which she herself is emitting. The painting has the air of a sketch, the shapes being described with the tip of the brush. The virgin is raised up on the holy column, surrounded by a host of putti which fly around her. Other little angel heads melt into the background, moving into grisaille tones and blurring into the clouds. The painting is dominated by pastel tones which sweeten the scene, giving it a rococo character.

A preparatory sketch for this painting can be found in the Italian Sketchbook, which proves its authenticity, although the artist did modify the original basic concept.

The painting has caused some confusion regarding its date and dimensions. The majority of studies record its dimensions as being 78 x 52 cm, when in fact the work is smaller than that. With regard to dating, Antonio Beltrán proposes a date of 1775-1780, Camón and Buendía bring that forward to 1773, while Gudiol believes this to be an earlier work from 1780-1781. Today, it is considered to have been completed in Zaragoza following the artist's return from Italy in 1771 but before his move to Madrid in 1775. This chronology is supported by the sketch found in the Italian Sketchbook.

In terms of the painting's provenance, its identical size and the similarities between the putti in this work and The Death of Saint Francis Xavier, also housed in the Museum of Zaragoza, suggest that they are a pair.

Conservación

This painting underwent restoration work at the Institute of Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICRBC) in Madrid in 1982. The piece displayed severe craquelure and blistering in its layers which had caused the loss of some of the paintwork.

As a result, it was necessary to clean the image, allowing the recovery of the original tones, while the heads of two putti were reconstructed using the regattino technique.

Exposiciones
  • Exposición de obras de Goya y de objetos que recuerdan las manufacturas artísticas de su época
    Museo de Zaragoza
    Zaragoza
    1928
    organized by la Real Academia de Nobles y Bellas Artes de San Luis in collaboration with the Junta del Patronato del Museo Provincial. April 1928
  • Goya joven (1746-1776) y su entorno
    Museo e Instituto Camón Aznar
    Zaragoza
    1986
    consultant editorl José Rogelio Buendía. November 21st to December 20th 1986
  • Goya (1746 – 1828)
    Galleria Internazionale d’Arte Moderna di Ca’Pesaro
    Venecia
    1989
    consultant editor Antonio Fortún Paesa. From May 7th to July 4th 1989
  • Goya
    La Lonja, Torreón Fortea y Museo Pablo Gargallo
    Zaragoza
    1992
    consultant editor Julián Gállego
  • Goya. El Capricho y la Invención. Cuadros de gabinete, bocetos y miniaturas
    Museo Nacional del Prado
    Madrid
    1993
    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
    Nationalmuseum
    Stockholm
    1994
    consultant editors Juan J. Luna and Görel Cavalli-Björkman. From October 7th 1994 to January 8th 1995
  • Goya en Ponce
    Museo de Arte de Ponce
    Ponce
    1995
    consultant editor María Luisa Cancela Ramírez Arellano. From May 13th to September 30th 1995
  • El Pilar es la Columna. Historia de una devoción
    La Lonja
    Zaragoza
    1995
    organized by Gobierno de Aragón and Diputación Provincial de Zaragoza. From October 7th 1995 to January 7th 1996
  • Realidad e imagen. Goya 1746 – 1828
    Museo de Zaragoza
    Zaragoza
    1996
    consultant editor Federico Torralba Soriano. From October 3th to December 1st 1996
  • Goya e Italia
    Museo de Zaragoza
    Zaragoza
    2008
    organized by the Fundación Goya en Aragóna, consultant editor Joan Sureda Pons. From June 1st to September 15th 2008
  • Goya y Zaragoza (1746-1775). Sus raíces aragonesas
    Museo Goya. Colección Ibercaja
    Zaragoza
    2015
Bibliografía
  • Vie et ouvre de Francisco de Goya
    Juliet Wilson and Pierre Gassier
    pp. 77, 91, cat. 172
    1970
    Office du livre
  • Goya, 1746 – 1828. Biografía, estudio analítico y catálogo de sus pinturas, 4 vols.
    José Gudiol
    vol. I, p. 252, cat. 112
    1970
    Polígrafa
  • L’opera pittorica completa di Goya
    Rita de Angelis
    p. 94, cat. 66
    1974
    Rizzoli
  • Francisco de Goya, 4 vols.
    José Camón Aznar
    vol. I, p. 62 y p. 81 (il.)
    1980-1982
    Caja de Ahorros de Zaragoza, Aragón y Rioja
  • Goya. El capricho y la invención. Cuadros de gabinete, bocetos y miniaturas
    Manuela B. (comisaria) Mena Marqués and Juliet (comisaria) Wilson-Bareau
    pp. 112, 113, cat. 4 y p. 114 (il.)
    1993
    Museo del Prado
  • Goya y Aragón. Familia, amistades y encargos artísticos
    Arturo Ansón Navarro
    pp. 105, 107 y p.105 (il.)
    num. 10
    1995
    Caja de Ahorros de la Inmaculada de Aragón
    Col. Mariano de Pano y Ruata
  • Realidad e imagen. Goya 1746 – 1828
    Federico (comisario) Torralba Soriano
    pp. 68-69, cat. 11
    1996
    Madrid, Gobierno de Aragón y Electa
  • Museo de Zaragoza. Guía
    Miguel, et al. Beltrán Lloris
    p. 336 y p. 337 (il.)
    2003
    Gobierno de Aragón
  • Goya e Italia, 2 vols.
    Joan (comisario) Sureda Pons
    vol. II, p. 261, cat. 200
    2008
    Fundación Goya en Aragón y Turner
  • Goya y Zaragoza (1746-1775). Sus raíces aragonesas
    Manuela B. Mena Marqués and VVAA
    pp. 126-127
    2015
    Fundación Goya en Aragón, Ibercaja y Gobierno de Aragón
Ficha en SAAC

Los Sistemas Aumentativos y Alternativos de Comunicación (SAAC) son formas de expresión distintas al lenguaje hablado, que tienen como objetivo aumentar (aumentativos) y/o compensar (alternativos) las dificultades de comunicación y lenguaje de muchas personas con discapacidad. Más info: Arasaac

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