The 'Italian Sketchbook'

The Italian Sketchbook, recently acquired by the Museo del Prado, is a collection of figure sketches, copies of compositions, churches and collections which Goya made during his stay in Italy. He probably used the book throughout the 1770s with the intention of recording, personal recollections of events that occurred in his life such as his wedding, and the birth and christening of his children.

Goya used various techniques: charcoal, sanguine and ink. The brushstrokes are firm and vigorous, while the drawings show great freedom in the movement of the figures, reinforced by precise touches of shadowing. On the reverse of page 64 and the obverse of page 65 sketches can be seen of the works of devotion which are kept in the Museo de Zaragoza: The Virgin del Pilar and the Death of St. Francis Xavier.

See some examples:


Gassier, P. Dibujos de Goya : Los álbumes. Barcelona, 1973.

Gassier, P. Dibujos de Goya : Estudios para grabados y pinturas. Barcelona, 1975.

Marisa Cancela

Page 112 [r], birth and baptism records of two
Page115 [a], birth and baptism records of two Goya's children
First ideas for the paintings "Virgin of El Pilar" y "Death of St. Francis Xavier"

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