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Angel's head
Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de
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Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de

Fuendetodos, Zaragoza (Spain), 1746 - Bordeaux (France), 1828

Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de See author's file

Angel's head

1772. Red chalk on laid paper, brown paper.
Not on display

This is one of Goya´s earliest preserved drawing and one of the few known to have been a preparatory work for a painting, in this case for a fresco on the dome over the choir loft in the Basilica of the Pillar in Zaragoza. The head corresponds to the typical feminine face that Goya used for his virgins during those same years, and for the majas in his tapestry cartoons. Goya´s female angels, such as those in the San Antonio de la Florida Chapel, have drawn attention because of their feminine look.

Goya received the commission to paint the fresco on the Zaragoza basilica’s choir vault shortly after his return from Italy in the autumn of 1771. Here, he demonstrated his ability to produce a large-scale composition, carefully preparing its execution, as this was his first public commission and one for an emblematic building in the city. Although only three preparatory drawings are known, in addition to a highly finished oil sketch, Goya must have made studies for all the figures painted.

Matilla Rodríguez, José Manuel, Ligereza y atrevimiento. Dibujos de Goya, Santander, Fundación Botín, 2017, p.31 n.1; 158 n.1


Technical data

Inventory number
Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de
Angel's head
Red chalk
Laid paper; Brown paper
Second support: Card
Height: 451 mm; Width: 350 mm; Alto segundo soporte: 508 mm; Ancho segundo soporte: 385 mm
Dibujo preparatorio para pintura

Bibliography +

Sánchez Cantón, Francisco Javier, Los dibujos de Goya reproducidos a su tamaño y en su color, II, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1954, pp. n. 450 (473).

Gassier, Pierre y Wilson-Bareau, Juliet, Vie et oeuvre de Francisco de Goya: l`oeuvre complet illustré: peintures, dessins, gravures, Office du Livre, Fribourg, 1970, pp. 82, n. 32.

Gassier, Pierre, Dibujos de Goya. Estudios para Grabados y Pinturas, II, Noguer, Barcelona, 1975, pp. 26-27, n. 1.

Salas, Xavier de, Goya Das Zeitalter Der Revolution 1789-1830, Prestel Verlag: Kunsthalle, Múnich ; Hamburgo, 1980, pp. n. 209.

Symmons, Sarah, Goya. In Pursuit of Patronage, Gordon Fraser, Londres, 1988, pp. 43.

Mangiante, Paolo Erasmo, Goya e l' Italia, Fratelli Palombi, Roma, 1992, pp. 157, lám. 224.

Albarrán Martín, V, 'Francisco de Goya y Lucientes. Cabeza de ángel' En:, Goya y Zaragoza (1746-1775): sus raíces aragonesas., Ibercaja Obra Social,, 2015, pp. 123-124 n.9.

Matilla Rodríguez, José Manuel, Ligereza y atrevimiento. Dibujos de Goya, Fundación Botín, Santander, 2017, pp. 31 n.1; 158 n.1.

Matilla, J. M., Mena. M. (dir), Francisco de Goya (1746-1828): Dibujos. Catálogo razonado, II, Fundación Botín. Museo Nacional del Prado, 2018, pp. 319-321 nº29.

Matilla, J.M. Mena M.B., Goya: dibujos. Solo la voluntad me sobra, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2019, pp. 56 nº3.

Other inventories +

Catálogo Gassier, 1975. Núm. II 1.

Colección Dibujos Goya (Numeración Sánchez Catón). Núm. 473.

Catálogo Goya, Pierre Gassier y Juliet Wilson. Núm. 32.

Inscriptions +

5 [dentro de un círculo] // 473
Back, Secondary support

Frano Goya
Inscribed with sanguine. Front, lower left area

Inscribed in pencil. Back, lower central area

Inscribed in pen and brown ink. Lower central area, Front, Secondary support

Exhibitions +

Goya. Drawings. "Only my Strength of Will Remains"
20.11.2019 - 16.02.2020

Solo la voluntad me sobra. Dibujos de Francisco de Goya
19.11.2019 - 16.02.2020

Ligereza y atrevimiento. Dibujos de Goya
22.06.2017 - 30.09.2017

Goya y Zaragoza (1746-1775). Sus raices aragonesas
26.02.2015 - 28.06.2015

Update date: 04-11-2021 | Registry created on 04-11-2016

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