The itinerary <em>TITULORECORRIDO</em> has been successfully created. Now you can add in works from the Collection browser
<em>TITULOOBRA</em> added to <em>TITULORECORRIDO</em> itinerary

I am still learning
Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de
Close Continuar a ficha de la obra

Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de

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

Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de See author's file

I am still learning

Ca. 1826. Black chalk, Lithographic crayon on grey laid paper.
Not on display

I am still learning, from the Bordeaux Sketchbook G, dates from around 1825-28, and may well be the drawing that best sums up Goya’s spirit in the final years of his life. In fact, it has become a recurrent referent in histories of this artist that cast it as a symbolic self-portrait expressive of the unwavering desire for personal development that led him to continue to set down his new ideas in various media. While his earlier works sometimes employ images of the aged to convey a negative concept of the passage of time, the perspective is significantly different here, beginning with the eloquent and classically rooted title, which reflects Goya’s renewed optimism in Bordeaux. Nevertheless, in his romantic biography of the painter, published in 1858, Laurent Matheron narrates an anecdote that suggest we should consider this drawing in a manner closer to his other works, that is, from a more melancholy perspective. According to him, not long after Goya arrived in Bordeaux he was already unable to go out without the help of his young compatriot, Brugada. Holding his arm, he attempted to walk along in unfrequented areas, but his efforts were in vain: his legs would no longer support him. Then, he would angrily declare: How humiliating! At the age of eighty, I am like a child; I must learn to walk!. Many of the interpretations of the present drawing are conditioned by the visual referents that Goya may have known and used. This approach views Goya as an artist with an extraordinary visual and literary culture, who know the Latin classics in translation and the emblematic sources of the Renaissance present in numerous books and prints that he would have used as starting points for this drawing. The title, I am still learning originates in the sentence anchora imparo, which was used by Plato and Plutarch, while the image of an old man with two canes has been linked to a print of the same name that Girolamo Fagiuolo engraved in 1536, which shows an old man in a child’s walker. In the first half of the 16th century, it was common to represent Chronos as a bearded old man wearing a tunic and hobbling along on two canes, just as he appears in a print by Marcantonio rimondi (ca. 1470/82-1527/34). Goya’s drawing also bears certain formal similarities to a more recent print by William Blake (1757-1827) that illustrated Henry Fuseli’s Lectures on Painting, which Goya may have known. Fuseli’s book shows M. Angelo Bonarotti leaning on a cane as he directs a penetrating gaze at the viewer. The Coliseum of Rome can be glimpsed in the dark background. That print, as well, bears the caption Ancora imparo, which was also attributed to Michelangelo in his biography. In the present drawing, Goya primarily expresses the solitude of a man in his final days. But he also defines it as a passage from darkness to light, superbly representing the former with intense strokes of lithographic pencil subtly nuanced with barely perceptible light oblique scraper marks. He uses the whiteness of the paper itself to represent the light. His tottering step forward is only possible with the support of the two canes he hold in hands so carefully drawn that they allow us to see how his joints are swollen from arthrosis. This helps express the fragility of the old man who needs to learn to walk despite his age, just as a child does in infancy. The venerable face surrounded by abundant and curly hair and beard reveal a gaze that, as in so many of Goya’s works, carries the drawing’s deepest meaning. The tired eyes offer a glimpse of pupils that, rather than looking forward, are turned to the side in a melancholy fashion. If we are to understand this drawing as self-referential, then we can consider the tension between the direction of his steps and that of his lateral gaze as an expression of the conflict between the fetters of old age and the will to continue advancing (Text drawn from Matilla, J. M: Aun aprendo, in Matilla, J. M., Mena Marqués, M.: Goya: Luces y Sombras, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2012, pp. 314-317, no. 95).


Technical data

Inventory number
Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de
I am still learning
Ca. 1826
Black chalk; Lithographic crayon
Grey laid paper
Height: 192 mm; Width: 145 mm
Cuaderno de Burdeos I o Cuaderno G, 54
Javier Goya, Madrid, 1828; Mariano Goya, Madrid, 1854; Federico de Madrazo/Román Garreta, Madrid, c. 1855-1860; Museo de la Trinidad, Madrid, 05.04.1866; Museo del Prado, 1872.

Bibliography +

Sánchez Cantón, Francisco Javier, Sala de los dibujos de Goya, II, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1928, pp. 55, n.416.

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. nº 1758.

Gassier, Pierre, Dibujos de Goya. Los álbumes, 1, Noguer, Barcelona, 1973, pp. 570-571.

Stuffmann, Margret, Goya. Zeichnungen und Druckgraphik, Stadelschen Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt Am Main, 1981, pp. 222.

Martín, José, Sobre la fuente emblemática del dibujo de Goya 'Aun Aprendo', Boletín del Museo del Prado, XI, 1990, pp. 43-49.

Bozal, Valeriano, Goya. Dibujos de Burdeos, Reales Sitios, 128, 1996, pp. 7.

Museo Nacional del Prado, El Museo del Prado: la colección de escultura, artes decorativas y dibujos, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2009.

Schütze, Sebastian, 'ANCHORA IMPARO': sulla fortuna critica nell'arte, e nella letteratura artística della primaetà moderna di una massima filosofica attribuita a Michelangelo, Ricerche sull'arte a Napoli in età moderna: saggi e documenti, 2014, pp. 18-30 [23 f.10].

Mena Marques, M.B, 'Goya looks at himself' En:, Goya: Order & Disorder, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 2014, pp. 84-103 [96 n.42].

Payne, E, 'F de Goya. Just can't go on at the age of 96' En:, Goya. The Witches and Old Women Album, The Courtauld Gallery, Londres, 2015, pp. 122 f.71.

Matilla Rodríguez, José Manuel, Ligereza y atrevimiento. Dibujos de Goya, Fundación Botín, Santander, 2017, pp. 127 n.75.

Matilla, J.M. Mena M.B., Goya: dibujos. Solo la voluntad me sobra, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2019, pp. 366 nº 251.

Filigree +

Motive: Corazón con un trébol y variante del escudo de Ámsterdam con una cruz de san Andrés (mitad inferior)

27 x 75 mm
26 mm.
Centro del margen izquierdo
Corazón y escudo de Ámsterdam
Varios fabricantes franceses emplearon la filigrana del escudo de Ámsterdam en su variante con una cruz de San Andrés. Entre ellos, los papeleros de la dinastía Jardiel, de la comarca del Périgord, o los Bouygar, de Burdeos, cuya filigrana tenía además un gran corazón sobre el escudo.

Churchill, William Algernon, Watermarks in paper, in Holland, England, France, etc., in the XVII and XVIII centuries and their interconnection, B. De Graaf, Nieuwkoop, 1985, pp. n. 72 [D. Jardel, año 1780].

Other inventories +

Catálogo Gassier, 1975. Núm. I 411.

Inv. General, Sección 3ª. Dibujos, grabados, acuarelas y miniaturas, 1879. Núm. 91.
"91. Capricho. Una anciano apoyado en dos bastones con el lema "Aun aprendo" A. Goya alto 0,19 ancho 0,15. marco negro y cristal"

Colección Dibujos Goya (Numeración Sánchez Catón). Núm. 416.

Catálogo Goya, Pierre Gassier y Juliet Wilson. Núm. 1758.

Inscriptions +

Inscribed. Front, lower right corner

Inscribed. Front, upper right corner

Aun aprendo
Inscribed. Front, lower right corner

1 [6]
Inscribed with blue pencil. Center, Front, Secondary support

Front, lower corner

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

Temporary Installation: Goya’s Drawings restored
01.10.2012 - 20.01.2013

Goya. Light and Shade
16.03.2012 - 24.06.2012

Goya. Light and Shade
22.10.2011 - 29.01.2012

Update date: 07-07-2022 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

Other works by Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de

Print on demand

Print artworks available in our catalogue in high quality and your preferred size and finish.

Image archive

Request artworks available in our catalogue in digital format.