Lot 76
  • 76

Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes Fuendetodos 1746 - 1828 Bordeaux

Estimate
200,000 - 300,000 USD
Sold
1,048,000 USD
bidding is closed

Description

  • Francisco de Goya
  • Recto: a young woman arranging her hair beside a bed on which another woman is resting;
    Verso: a young woman sweeping in a tavern

  • verso: bears signature, somewhat obscured, lower right: Goya and numbered in a modern hand upper right: 3
  • point of the brush and indian ink and gray wash (recto and verso

  • 6 3/4 by 3 in; 172 by 101mm

Provenance

Javier Goya y Bayeu, 1828;
Mariano Goya y Goicoechea, 1854;
Valentin Carderera and/or Federico de Madrazo, c.1855 - 1860;
Jules Boilly, his sale, Paris, Hôtel Drouot, 19-20 March 1869, lot 48 (the album sold 450 FF, bought by Leurceau);
Hyades, Bordeaux;
A. Strölin, Paris;
Private collection, Switzerland;
Private collection, Paris

Exhibited

London, Hayward Gallery, Goya: drawings from his private albums, 2001, p. 173, nos. 3 and 4, reproduced pp. 41 and 42 (catalogue by Juliet Wilson-Bareau)

Literature

Eleanor A. Sayre, 'Eight books of drawings by Goya', The Burlington Magazine, CVI, 1964, p. 24;
Pierre Gassier and Juliet Wilson, Goya, His Life and Work, London 1971, pp. 171 et 172, nos. 368 and 369, reproduced;
Pierre Gassier, The Drawings of Goya, The Complete Albums, London 1973, p. 43, A.m [13] and A.n [14], reproduced pp. 33-34;
Susann Waldmann, Goya and the Duchess of Alba, Munich 1998, p. 40, recto reproduced (as The Duchess of Alba Arranging her Hair, and incorrectly as in the Biblioteca Nacional, Madrid);
R. Blas, J.M. Matilla, J.M. Medrano, Caprichos 1999: El libro de los Caprichos. Francisco de Goya, Madrid 1999, verso reproduced p. 143

Catalogue Note

This double-sided page was part of the so-called Sanlúcar album and is among the best images from it.  The first mention of the album is in an article by Valentin Carderera in the Gazette des Beaux-arts in 1860.  At that time, the album may still have been complete, and in Carderera's possession, but it seems to have been broken up soon after.  Carderera, besides giving a physical description of the small album, which he described as a pocket-size notebook bound vertically, explains the circumstances in which the volume originated: 'It was started on a journey with the famous Duchess of Alba, Doña María Teresa de Silva, when that noble lady took up residence for some time in her lordly villa at Sanlúcar de Barrameda' (see Gassier, op. cit., 1973, p. 17). Goya stayed with the Duchess at Sanlúcar, which is near Cadiz, between mid-June and late July 1796 and therefore the album must date from the summer of 1796. 

It seems from the sixteen known autograph drawings (on eight sheets), together with some copies probably made by Carderera, that it consisted entirely of sketches of young women, on whom the middle-aged artist focused his attention.  Goya's relationship to the Duchess has been the source of much speculation, and as certainly one page is a portrait of her (Gassier A.f), it has been suggested that others are as well. But most recently, Juliet Wilson Bareau writes that it is more likely that the drawings are based on life in the lively streets of Cadiz, rather than purely in the palace of Sanlúcar (see Exhibited below, p. 38). At any rate, it is women who are the recurrent subjects of these delightful, spirited and spontaneous drawings which carry no hint of the darker aspects of Goya's later works.

Gassier stresses the importance of the Sanlúcar album, saying that to his knowledge this is the first time that Goya uses wash on its own, and he again quotes Carderera, who eloquently describes the effect of this medium:'It is impossible to convey the clearness of the lines in most of these drawings, done with the very tip of the brush dipped in Indian ink...'. Goya's drawings up to this moment had been preparatory studies for paintings, executed in a classical technique of red and black chalks, so the Sanlúcar album represents a dramatic shift to a medium which became essential to him, particularly in the later albums. It is also the first group of such private subjects.

The recto of this drawing represents two women which may be the same as those represented on another page from the album, now in the Prado, and believed by some authors to be the Duchess of Alba and an attendant (Gassier, op.cit., 1973, p. 42, A.g [7] reproduced p. 27).  Gassier describes the present study as among the best quality among the album sheets and one where the use of brush is in his words 'admirably light and sure'.  The verso appears to be situated in an Andalusian tavern with a bull's head on the wall, probably a trophy from a corrida, and a caged canary, which adds to the intimacy of the witty scene in which a young girl sweeps the floor.  Gassier remarks that nearly all the compositional volumes are on one side of the diagonal formed by the broom. This, enhanced by the masterly use of wash, creates a dramatic effect of space and light.  

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