Charles IV of Spain and His Family

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Carlos IV of Spain and His Family, 1800, Museo del Prado

Charles IV of Spain and His Family is an oil on canvas painting by the Spanish artist Francisco Goya who began work on this painting in 1800 and completed it in the summer of 1801. It features life sized depictions of Charles IV of Spain and his family, ostentatiously dressed in fine costume and jewelry. The painting was modeled after Velázquez's Las Meninas when setting the royal subjects in a naturalistic and plausible setting.[1]

The royal family is apparently paying a visit to the artist's studio, while Goya can be seen to the left looking outwards towards the viewer. As in "Las Meninas," the artist is shown working on a canvas, of which only the rear is visible; however, the atmospheric and warm perspective of the palace interior of Velázquez's work is replaced in the Goya by a sense of, in the words of Gassier, "imminent suffocation" as the royal family are presented by Goya on a "stage facing the public, while in the shadow of the wings the painter, with a grim smile, points and says: 'Look at them and judge for yourself!'"[2]

Sitters[edit]

Goya - Charles IV of Spain and His Family (with numbers).jpg

The barely visible man in the background shadows at the left is Goya (2). Others are (1) Carlos Maria Isidro (1788–1855); (3) the future Fernando VII (1784–1833); (4) Maria Josefa (1744–1801), sister of Carlos IV; (5) Ferdinand's future wife – it wasn't known who she would be by the time the work was created; (6) María Isabel (1789–1848); (7) Maria Luisa of Parma (1751–1819); (8) Francisco de Paula (1794–1848); (9) Charles IV (1748–1819); (10) Don Antonio Pascual, brother of the King (1755–1817); (11) Carlota Joaquina (1775–1830, only part of head visible); (12) Don Luis de Parma (1773–1803) and (14) his wife Maria Luisa (1782–1824), holding (13) baby Carlos Luis (1799–1883), the future Duke of Parma.[3][4]

Notes[edit]

Sources[edit]

  • Buchholz, Elke Linda. Francisco de Goya. Cologne: Könemann, 1999. ISBN 3-8290-2930-6
  • Gassier, Pierre. Goya. Rizzoli International Publications, 1989. ISBN 0-8478-1108-5
  • Gassier, Pierre. Goya: Biographical and Critical Study. New York: Skira, 1995. 69–73
  • Davies, Denny, Hofrichter, Jacobs, Roberts, Simon. "Janson's History of Art." Prentice Hall, London, 2011. 824–825. ISBN 0-205-68517-X

External links[edit]

External video
smARThistory - Goya, The Family of Charles IV