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Two people looking into a luminous room
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

Two people looking into a luminous room

1816 - 1819. Red wash, Red chalk on laid paper. Not on display

This drawing’s composition, its relaxed and summary technique and the paper on which it was drawn are all related to the preparatory drawings for the Disparates, although there is no known engraved version of it. It presents a night scene with a neutral red-chalk and dry-brush background that allows the eye to capture the white of the paper and the different spatial planes. In the center, three standing figures are grouped in front of the luminous opening of a large crate that stands on one end with its bottom sunk into the ground and its open side angled towards them. Goya creates the light that emerges from the crate by leaving the paper bare, rather than covering it with wash, and its glare foreshortens the heads and one hand of the two figures that lean into the opening, one of whom appears to be wearing a cassock. The contours of the third figure are not easily distinguished from those of the one at his side. He holds out his hand, but it is not clear whether he is looking out at the viewer and raising his animal-featured face to the heavens with closed eyes, or has instead turned his back to the viewer in order to face the figures on the right. The scene appears to bear all the characteristics of a witches’ coven in which the protagonists, one of whom may be a priest, are accompanied by symbols of absurdity in their celebration of a spectacular vision of the afterlife. This had been a matter of certain concern since the French Revolution, and here, it is reflected in images critical of such lugubrious beliefs, which appear in several of Goya’s prints from the Disparates. The small figures that appear to be sitting on the ground to the right are arranged in a manner that recalls the witches surrounding a ram in the Witches’ Coven scene at the Fundación Lázaro Galdiano in Madrid—one of the images of witches painted by Goya in 1797-98—as well as the Witches’ Coven from the Black Paintings at the Museo Nacional del Prado. A group of bats, with their recognizable scalloped wings, flitter around the space to the left of the crate while a gigantic one seems to be approaching the scene from above it. This sinister night dweller is recognizable by its enormous wings, which Goya created with a thick, dark wash. In his critical iconography, bats are the traditional companions of witches and monsters produced by the sleep of reason. This large one and its position are comparable to the man-bat that opens the tomb of a dead young woman in one of Les fantômes, a pair of large lithographs that Romantic artist Charles Motte (Paris 2008, no. 252) created in 1829. Compositionally, there are certain similarities with the print And they still do not leave (D04222), in which a skeletal figure and his companion are put to the test by some witches and a monk, raising an enormous tombstone—it seems about to fall on top of them—in hopes of extracting lucrative benefits from the ghost, as promised by the witches. This is a criticism of false doctrines and of those willing to believe them. (Text from Maurer, G.: Dos personajes asomándose a una salida luminosa, in: Matilla, J.M. and Mena, M.B.: Goya: Luces y Sombras, Barcelona, Fundación La Caixa, 2012).


Technical data

Inventory number
Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de
Two people looking into a luminous room
1816 - 1819
Red wash; Red chalk
Laid paper
Height: 224 mm.; Width: 318 mm.
Disparates [dibujo]
Javier Goya, Madrid, 1828; Mariano Goya, Madrid, 1854; Valentín Carderera, Madrid, c. 1861; Mariano Carderera; Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1880; Museo del Prado, 12-11-1886.

Bibliography +

Mayer, August L., Francisco de Goya, Labor, Barcelona, 1925, pp. 231, nº 234.

Sánchez Cantón, Francisco Javier, Sala de los dibujos de Goya, II, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1928, pp. 31, nº 197.

Adhémar, J., Goya. Exposition de l'oeuvre gravé, de peintures, de tapisseries et cent dix dessins du Mussé du Prado, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, París, 1935, pp. 45, nº 281.

Camón Aznar, José, Los disparates de Goya y sus dibujos preparatorios, Instituto Amatller de Arte Hispánico, Barcelona, 1951, pp. 51, [105-107].

Sánchez Cantón, Francisco Javier, Los dibujos de Goya reproducidos a su tamaño y en su color, II, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1954, pp. nº 393.

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 1610.

Gassier, Pierre, Dibujos de Goya. Estudios para grabados y pinturas, Noguer, Barcelona:, 1973-1975, pp. 468-469, nº 308.

Gassier, Pierre, Vida y obra de Francisco de Goya: reproducción de su obra completa: pinturas, dibujos y grabados, Juventud, Barcelona, 1974, pp. 327, nº 1610.

Holo, S., Goya. Los Disparates, Washington State University Press, Washington, 1976, pp. 19, il. 9.

Camón Aznar, José, Francisco de Goya, IV, Caja de Ahorros de Zaragoza, Aragón y Rioja, Zaragoza, 1980-1982, pp. 102.

Hohl, H., ''Goya als Zeichner und Graphiker'', en: Goya Das Zeitalter Der Revolution 1789-1830, Prestel Verlag; Kunsthalle, Munich; Hamburgo, 1980, pp. 288, nº 251.

Harris, Tomas, Goya. Engravings and lithographs, Alan Wofsy Fine Arts, San Francisco, 1983, pp. 413, nº 269f.

Mena Marqués, Manuela B., El cuaderno italiano. 1770-1786. Los orígenes del arte de Goya, Museo del Prado, Madrid:, 1994.

Permanencia de la memoria: cartones para tapiz y dibujos de, Gobierno de Aragón, Departamento de Educación y Cu, Zaragoza:, 1997, pp. 174, nº 46.

Mena Marqués, Manuela B., Goya, Electa, Roma, 2000, pp. 148-149, nº 53.

Maurer, Gudrun, Goya. Luces y sombras. Obras maestras del Museo del Prado, The Yomiuri Shimbun, Tokio:, 2011, pp. 262, nº 104.

Maurer, Gudrun, ''Dos personajes asomándose a una salida luminosa'', en: Goya. Luces y sombras, Fundación ''La Caixa'', Barcelona:, 2012, pp. 268, nº 78.

Filigree +

Motive: Letra "MANUEL SERRA" (mitad izquierda)
Height: 23 mm
Width: 86 mm
Marca de agua "MANUEL -- SERRA" del papelero Manuel Serra y Franch, miembro de la dinastía de papeleros apellidados Serra, afincada en los molinos de Cap de Pont y Orpí en la rivera del río Carme, en Capellades (Barcelona), desde 1786 y durante las dos décadas iniciales del XIX. Manuel trabajó en Capellades durante las primeras décadas del siglo XIX. En 1827 ya figuraba su viuda como continuadora del negocio, pues así consta en la Exposición de la Industria de ese año, donde la Viuda de Serra y Franch recibió una mención honorífica por su producción de papel (Memoria de la Junta de Calificacion de los productos de la industria española remitidos á la Esposicion pública de 1827, Madrid, Imprenta de D.L. Amarita, 1828, p. 58).

Biblioteca Nacional España, Ydioma Universal: Goya en la Biblioteca Nacional, Biblioteca Nacional Lunwerg, Madrid, 1996, pp. 307, fil. 35.

Other inventories +

Colección Dibujos Goya (Numeración Sánchez Catón). Núm. 197.

Catálogo Goya, Pierre Gassier y Juliet Wilson. Núm. 1610.

Catálogo Gassier, 1975. Núm. II 308.

Inscriptions +

MP Inventario DIBUJOS nº 197 [debajo de adhesivo]
Printmaking. Back, upper right corner

Inscribed. Front, lower left corner

13 [sobre etiqueta]
Handwritten label in black ink. Back

Inscribed. Back, lower left area

no grabada? [debajo de adhesivo]
Inscribed. Back, Upper left area

Exhibitions +

Goya: Dibujos del Museo del Prado. Melbourne
25.06.2021 - 03.10.2021

Goya: luces y sombras. Obras maestras del Museo del Prado
15.03.2012 - 24.06.2012

Goya: luces y sombras. Obras maestras del Museo del Prado / Goya: Lights and Shadows. Masterpieces of the Museo del Prado
22.10.2011 - 29.01.2012

Le crepuscule de la raison
15.10.2001 - 15.01.2002

Goya - Roma
16.03.2000 - 06.06.2000

Permanencia en la memoria . Cartones para tapices y dibujos de Goya
14.02.1997 - 06.04.1997

Goya: El cuaderno italiano
24.06.1994 - 21.08.1994

Update date: 26-10-2021 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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