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    Wednesday, February 8th, 2023
    FRANCISCO JOSÉ DE GOYA Y LUCIENTES – Portrait of Doña María Vicenta Barruso Valdés, seated on a sofa with a lap-dog; and Portrait of her mother Doña Leonora Antonia Valdés de Barruso, seated on a chair holding a fan

    This double portrait smashed the previous record for Goya when it made $16,420,000 at Christie’s Old Masters sale in New York. Portrait of Doña María Vicenta Barruso Valdés and Portrait of her mother Doña Leonora Antonia Valdés de Barruso was the top lot in a sale of 49 lots which brought in $44.2 million. The grand total for Classic Week came to $92 million. Old Masters brought in $76 million across a number of sales including the collection of J.E. Safra, Masterpieces from a New York collection, Old Master and British drawings and sales of prints, paintings and sculpture.


    Saturday, October 28th, 2017

    Francisco Goya (1746-1828) The deathbeds (Las camas de la muerte)

    In these days of instantaneous visual news we are all too familiar with war and destruction.  Yet even today it is impossible to better the unflinching look taken in The Disasters of War series by the great Spanish artist Francisco Goya now on view at the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin.

    Goya’s realistic depictions of the brutaliity of war and its consequences have influenced artists from Manet to Dali and Picasso. The series of etchings has been described as the greatest anti-war manifesto in the history of art.
    Created using sparse line combined with strong light and dark shadow it depicts the warfare, famine and political disillusionment which followed Napoleon Bonaparte’s invasion of Spain in 1808.  Goya worked on the plates from 1810-1820.  The three sections of the disasters show first the brutality of warfare, followed by the famine in Madrid during the winter of 1811-12 in which over 20,000 died and thirdly the ruling elite in Spain is bitterly satirised.
    The prints, complete with ironic titles like What Courage, The Deathbeds and Against the Common Good were not published until 35 years after the artists death. Only in 1863 was it considered politically safe to do so. This was due in part of the repressive regime of King Ferdinand VII (1784-1833) which followed the Napoleonic War.
    The Chester Beatty Library holds the entire series of 80 prints from the second edition of 1892.  Forty of them are on display in a special exhibition which runs until January 21.  Curator of the western collections Dr. Jill Unkell said the etchings are often regarded as the predecessors of modern photo journalism. “Though harrowing, Goya’s poignant observations of human suffering help mitigate the scenes of extreme violence”.

    Francisco Goya (1746-1828) What courage! (Que Valor!)

    Francisco Goya (1746-1828) With or Without Reason (Con razon ó sin ella)


    Monday, March 13th, 2017

    La Tauromaquia, the complete set of thirty-three prints by Goya celebrating the artist’s unique understanding of the art of bullfighting, will come up at Sotheby’s in London on April 4.  This masterpiece of Spanish printmaking, recently discovered in a library in France, comes to sale from the collection of a French ducal family.  The prints remained undisturbed for decades in a nineteenth-century ledger. Estimated at £300,000-500,000, the prints are virtually flawless examples of the first and only contemporary edition that was printed for Goya from large copperplates etched and aquatinted by him in 1815-1816.

    They were brought from the court of Madrid around the time of their publication to the château de Montigny in France in 1831.  They will headline Sotheby’s sale of Prints & Multiple.

    Séverine Nackers, Head of Prints, Sotheby’s Europe, said: “To find a complete set of Goya’s bullfighting prints with such historically significant provenance is a once-in-a-lifetime discovery. With La Tauromaquia currently holding the auction record for a series of prints by Goya, we’re expecting an enthusiastic response from collectors.”


    Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes – La Tauromaquia

    Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes – La Tauromaquia