Tapestries of the Royal House:
Third series

In June 1786 Goya was recorded as having painted a collection of sketches for thirteen tapestries destined for the dining room of the Pardo palace. This series was to be the most ambitious and the best in terms of artistic quality that Goya had produced for the Real Fábrica.

The four seasons are represented. The Flower girls or Spring, Harvesting or Summer, Grape-harvest or Autumn and Snow-storm or Winter. They are notable for the marvellous compositions, in perfect harmony with landscapes and characters, and for their chromatic richness, even when whites and greys are used in the winter painting, which is powerful in its realism.

To these can be added Poor People by a Fountain and The Injured Mason. The sketch for the second work was kept and used for the The Drunken Mason, which differs from the other work only in the expression of the carriers' faces, sad in one, and laughing in the other. It is the only work of which the tapestry cannot be found. The series was completed with tapestries for corners and door curtains: Children with Two Mastiffs, Huntsman by a Spring, Shepherd Blowing a Horn, Birds Flying, Two Cats Fighting and Bird on a Tree Branch, all of which were donated to the Museo del Prado in 1984 and 1987.

It is not clear what plans there were for the Infantas' bedroom for the Infantas in El Pardo. There are sketches which were never made into tapestries which were destined to be used there such as The Meadow of San Isidro, The Hermitage of San Isidro and The picnic, painted in 1788, the year that Charles the III died, which may have been the reason for the cessation of the project. A fourth sketch was painted and made into a tapestry, Blind Man's Buff.

See also:


Sambricio, V. de. Los tapices de Goya. Madrid : Patrimonio Nacional, 1946

Arnaiz, J. M. Francisco de Goya, cartones y tapices. Madrid, 1987.

Marisa Cancela

Snow-storm or Winter
Grape-harvest or Autumn
Poor People by a Fountain
The injured Mason
The drunken Mason
Blind Man's buff

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