Inventory number
P07346
Author
Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de (Spanish)
Title
Magpie in a Tree
Chronology
1786-1787
Technique
Óleo
Support
Lienzo
Dimensions
279 cm x 28 cm
School
Española
Theme
Animales
On display
Yes
Provenance
Pintado en el otoño de 1786. Transferido entre 1856-1857 desde la Real Fábrica de Tapices de Santa Bárbara, Madrid, al Palacio Real (sótanos del oficio de tapicería). Ingresó en el Prado por reales órdenes de 18.1 y 9.2. de 1870.

This cartoon was for one of the tapestries to be hung in the Prince of Asturias' dining room at the El Pardo Palace. Its narrow, elongated format indicates it was intended to be hung in a corner. It is probably inspired by a Chinese screen, which were very fashionable in the eighteenth century. The screen's representation of exotic birds on tree branches is replaced here by a magpie and other small birds belonging to Spain's fauna.

The painter situates the birds on different planes in order to create a sense of depth that complements the high, narrow format. At the same time, he expresses the birds' flight and the magpie's equilibrium on the tree branch with vivid realism.

 
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