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Goya’s Countess of Chinchón is on display at the Museo del Prado following its restoration Wednesday, December 23, 2020

With the collaboration of Fundación Iberdrola España, a Protector Sponsor of the Museo del Prado’s Restoration Programme, this quintessential example of the court portrait has been the subject of a lengthy process to consolidate the paint layer and remove the  oxidised varnish and dirt that had accumulated on the painting’s surface.

This procedure has made it possible to once again appreciate the work’s original pictorial values and Goya’s masterly brushstrokes, which were previously concealed by a dark, yellowish film that made it difficult to grasp the depth and sense of space around the figure.

Goya’s Countess of Chinchón is on display at the Museo del Prado following its restoration

From left to right: Ramón Castresana, Director of the Fundación Iberdrola España; Miguel Falomir, Director of the Museo Nacional del Prado; Elisa Mora, Restorer of the Museo Nacional del Prado; Javier Solana, Head of the Board of Trustess of the Museo Nacional del Prado; Andrés Úbeda, Director Deputy Director of the Museo Nacional del Prado and Marina Chinchilla, Deputy Management Director of the  Museo Nacional del Prado. Photo © Museo Nacional del Prado.

The Museo del Prado today presented The Countess of Chinchón by Goya following its restoration within the programme supported by Fundación Iberdrola Españá as its Protector Sponsor.

The painting, which is documented in Godoy’s palace in 1800, was moved to the General Deposit of Seized Works in 1813, located in the stores of the San Ildefonso Glassware Manufactory on calle Alcalá in Madrid. In 1814 it was in the palace at Boadilla del Monte near Madrid among the items returned to the Countess of Chinchón. It remained with her direct descendants until it entered the collections of the Prado in 2000, acquired with State funding and with a contribution from the Museum itself from the Villaescusa Bequest.

The restoration, undertaken by Elisa Mora, has reinstated the green tones of the ears of corn in the sitter’s hair, the crisp texture of her muslin dress and its embroidered details, and the subtle nuances of the greys and whites.

After 38 years in the Restoration department of the Museo Nacional del Prado, Elisa Mora is now approaching retirement with the satisfaction of having worked on reinstating the original pictorial values of outstanding examples of universal art - among them The 2nd of May by Goya, The Wine of Saint Martin’s Day by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, and The Virgin Dolorosa with her Hands apart by Titian, painted on marble - as well having been joint recipient with the other members of the Museum’s restoration team of the National Prize for the Restoration and Conservation of Cultural Items 2019, awarded by the Spanish Ministry of Culture and Sport.