Inventory number
P07020
Author
Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de
Title
The Duchess of Alba and La Beata
Chronology
1795
Technique
Oil
Support
Canvas
Dimensions
33 cm x 27,7 cm
School
Spanish
Theme
Genre and Society
On display
Yes
Provenance
Duchess of Alba (?), 1802; Tomás de Berganza, 1807; Luis de Berganza, Madrid, 1834; Carmen Berganza de Martín (Madrid, ca. 1900), Pilar Martín Berganza and Antonio Martín; sale at Sotheby's, Madrid, 27.2.1985

The lively, somewhat childish character of Cayetana, the Duchess of Alba, is reflected in this little canvas. Her back is turned to the viewer, but she is recognizable by her abundantly curly black hair. She plays at frightening her duenna, Rafaela Luisa Velázquez, known as “la Beata” (“the Sanctimonious”). The Duchess shows the old woman a coral charm of the sort designed to ward off the evil eye. The latter, in turn, protects herself with a cross, as if it were the devil himself.

This work is signed and dated with incisions at the lower right.

 
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