Inventory number
Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de
Women carrying Pitchers
1791 - 1792
262 cm x 160 cm
Genre and Society
On display
Colección Real : Pintado a fines de 1791 y principios de 1792. Entregado en fecha indeterminada, en 1792, a la Real Fábrica de Tapices de Santa Bárbara, Madrid. Transferido entre 1856-1857 desde la Fábrica de Tapices al Palacio Real, Madrid (sótanos del oficio de tapicería). Ingresó en el Prado por reales órdenes de 18.1 y 9.2. de 1870.

Three women have come to fill their pitchers at a fountain. Two are young and the third, middle aged. The one in the foreground, and the eldest, gaze directly at the viewer with an attentive and bold look of complicity, like the boy that accompanies them. The young women balance the pitchers on their heads with a difficult equilibrium, a traditional symbol of feminine virtue. Goya paints the pitchers covered and uncovered and one of the women, who is in profile, listens as the middle-aged one whispers something in her ear. This is an allusion to the subject of the matchmaker that Goya dealt with repeatedly in his work.

The painting is a cartoon for one of the tapestries intended for Carlos IV's office at El Escorial. It depicts a country scene, as was requested by the Monarch, but as was customary for this painter, a social message underlies the realistic surface. This work also refers to women's domination of men, an obsession that Goya reflected in many of his works.

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