- Reference number
- Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de (Spanish)
- The Blind Guitarrist
- 260 cm x 311 cm
- Género y sociedad
- On display
- Entregado a la Real Fábrica de Tapices de Santa Bárbara, Madrid, el 27 de abril de 1778. Transferido entre 1856-1857 al Palacio Real de Madrid (sótanos del oficio de Tapicería). Ingresó en el Prado por reales órdenes de 18.1 y 9.2. de 1870.
The central motif of this work is the blind singer who travels to cities and towns, spreading the news, generally of a tragic or lurid character. Goya depicts the emotions — from interest to fascination— his message generates among the men, women and children looking on.
According to Goya, the elegant gentleman in this cartoon was a foreigner. The painter also included unusual characters, such as the black man who plays to popular role of water-seller. There are also more customary ones, such as the fisherman on the left, and a melon-seller who hawks his wares among the crowd.
This scene, with its strict, pyramidal composition, was the subject of one of Goya's first etchings, a large one that varies in some respects from this cartoon. The present was the first of the cartoons for the tapestries intended for the entrance to the Prince and Princess of Asturias' bedroom at El Pardo.