Autorretrato (1815)

Goya, Francisco de (1746-1828)

Autorretrato (Self-Portrait)
Oil on canvas, 45.8 x 35.6 cm
Museo del PradoMadrid

Goya deliberately presents himself here as vulnerable and fragile, revealing the most serene and welcoming facet of his personality. A dark background painted with rapid, energetic crossing brushstrokes adds presence to his reddish-brown frock coat, which contrasts with his very white, open-necked shirt, both of which are painted with finer brushstrokes than the background. This technique, in the Venetian manner, accentuates the soft, rosy and somewhat flaccid skin of Goya on the threshold of old age. The elaborate material, of exceptional richness, brings out the luminosity of his face, which needs very little light to stand out in the almost Velázquez-like “atmosphere” surrounding him. This self-portrait is very different than that of the artist before his easel (P00775). Here, he no longer looks at a mirror, directing his gaze, instead, at the viewer. It is signed and dated on the background to the left, incised in the paint, perhaps with the tip of the brush handle. (MNP)