Visitors to the Museo del Prado will be able to see the result of the restoration recently undertaken on seventeen drawings by Goya that are almost never exhibited due to their delicate state of conservation. The group includes the previously unpublished and unexhibited drawing Sketch of the Royal Astronomical Observatory in Madrid, which has recently been rediscovered on the back of a drawing of Madrid entitled The Street.
Most of the selection consists of the fourteen preparatory drawings that Goya executed in red chalk for his print series Los Caprichos. These were traditionally known in the Museum as the “yellow caprichos” due to the fact that in the late nineteenth century and with the probable intention of protecting them, they were given a coating of starch that yellowed over time, altering their original appearance and preventing a coherent visual reading. In addition to this procedure, one of Goya’s most celebrated drawings, I am still learning (1825-1828), which is frequently referred in the literature on the artist, has also been restored. Two zones of chalk strokes that were damaged have been reinstated in a reversible manner, returning the correct visual sense to the work.