Works of Goya in Aragón

Their history and
where to visit them

Reliquary in the parish church of Fuendetodos, destroyed in 1936

Goya's artistic work in Aragón began around 1760. His first known work was the reliquary in the parish church of Fuendetodos.

In 1766 he painted The Four Fathers of The Western Church in the Jesuit church of San Juan el Real (Calatayud, Zaragoza). Goya repeated the subject in the church of Remolinos (Zaragoza) and in the Hermitage of Nuestra Señora de la Fuente (Muel, Zaragoza). Together with his paintings in the Carthusian monastery of the Aula Dei and the Basilica del Pilar, these constitute the major works of his youthful period.

Other works from his period in Aragon should be mentioned. He may well have already completed The Consecration of St.Luis Gonzaga as Patron of Youth for the church in San Juan de Calatayud (Museo de Zaragoza). St.Peter in Prison , painted sometime between 1766-71, has been attributed to him (Real Seminario de San Carlos, Zaragoza). In 1771 he painted the fresco The Adoration of The Name of God for the Colegio de la Compañia de Jesús in Alagón (Zaragoza). This was a subject he would repeat in the Basilica del Pilar (Zaragoza, 1772). His Saint Anthony, Abbot (Museo de Zaragoza) likewise dates from 1771.

Around the same time he painted frescos and oil paintings for the chapel of the Count and Countess of Sobradiel, some of which are now in the Museo de Zaragoza and the rest in other museums. In Esquedas (Huesca), home of the Sobradiels, a painting of The Eternal Father has been attributed to Goya, possibly painted in 1762. Goya painted other religious works for noble families. In 1771 he painted The Dream of St. Joseph for the palace of the Count and Countess of Gabarda in Zaragoza (Museo de Zaragoza).

In 1771 he painted for his family two small devotional oil paintings: The Virgen del Pilar and The Death of St.Francis Xavier (Museo de Zaragoza).

His journey to Italy and the influences he came under there can be clearly seen in the frescos of the life of the Virgin he painted in the church of the Carthusian monastery of the Aula Dei (Zaragoza, 1772). The same year he painted the Coreto in the Basilica del Pilar. The preparatory studies on paper can be found in the Museo del Prado (Madrid). Between 1774 and 1780 his work in Aragón was interupted by his work in Madrid for the Royal Tapestry Factory.

In 1780 he returned to Zaragoza to paint one of his masterpieces; the cupola (12m. diameter) in the Basilica del Pilar of the Regina Martyrum, the Queen of Martyrs. The sketches on canvas can be seen in the Museo del Pilar.

In the early 1780s Goya painted another Apparition of the Virgen del Pilar to St. James the Apostle for the church in Urrea de Gaén (Teruel), which was destroyed in the Spanish Civil War (1936-39). He painted three pictures for the church in San Fernando de Torrrero (Zaragoza) which in turn were destroyed by Napoleon's troops. Sketches have been preserved in the Museo Lázaro Galdiano and in the Museo de Bellas Artes (Buenos Aires).

In 1781 after finishing his controversial work in the Basilica del Pilar, Goya went back to Madrid and only occasionally returned to his home province. However, the works already executed in Aragón, with particular reference to the oil paintings, especially his oil paintings, preserved in different museus and collections of Zaragoza and Huesca.

A portrait of Ramón de Pignatelli and a print titled The Giant in the palace of the Duke and Duchess of Villhermosa in Pedrola (Zaragoza). Ibercaja, an Aragonese savings bank, owns a portrait of the Aragonese naturalist Felix de Azara (1805), a sketch on paper of The Second of May 1808 (1814) and a small sketch of a carnival, The Masked Dance, both originally owned by the Casa de Villahermosa.

Goya's original editions of his four great series of prints, can be seen in the Caja de Ahorros de la Inmaculada (Zaragoza). In the Museo de Zaragoza and in the Museo de Aznar (Zaragoza) there are reproductions of the same series and contemporary written material about the artist. The Museo de Huesca has a copy of The Bulls of Bordeaux and a portrait of Rector Veyán.

Javier García Marco


Torralba, Federico.Goya en Aragón. León, 1977.

Morales y Marín, José Luis.Goya, pintor religioso. Zaragoza : Diputación General de Aragón, 1990.

Goya en Ponce (Puerto Rico). [Ponce, 1995].

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