Attributed to Goya (Francisco de Goya y Lucientes) (Spanish, Fuendetodos 1746–1828 Bordeaux)
Oil on canvas
44 1/4 x 30 3/4 in. (112.4 x 78.1 cm)
H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929
Not on view
This painting first came to light in 1900, when it was lent to the large Goya exhibition in Madrid as the pendant to a portrait of the sitter's husband, Juan Bautista de Goicoechea y Urrutia. Juan Bautista was appointed Minister of War to Ferdinand VII in 1815 and in his portrait (now in the Staatliche Kunsthalle, Karlesruhe) wears the order of Charles III, received in the same year. He was apparently distantly related to Gumersinda Goicoechea, who married Goya's son Javier in 1805. Our portrait may have been painted close to the time of Javier's marriage, but was certainly executed by 1815/16.
Despite the signature on the ring—a favorite device of Goya's—the attribution of this portrait has recently been questioned by some authorities.
Inscription: Signed (on ring): Goya
Felipe Modet, Madrid (by 1900–1903; sold to Durand-Ruel); [Durand-Ruel, Paris, sold to Havemeyer, 1903]; Mr. and Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, New York (1903–his d. 1907); Mrs. H. O. (Louisine W.) Havemeyer, New York (1907–d. 1929)
Madrid. Ministerio de Instrucción Pública y Bellas Artes. "Goya," May 1900, suppl. no. 170 [addenda to the catalogue; see Vega 2002].
New York. M. Knoedler & Co. "Loan Exhibition of Paintings by El Greco and Goya," April 2–20, 1912, no. 11 (as "Da. Narcisa of Goicoechea [The Little Lady]").
New York. M. Knoedler & Co. "Loan Exhibition of Paintings by El Greco and Goya," January 1915, no. 14 (as "Dona Narcisa Baranona [sic] de Goicoechea [The little Lady]").
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The H. O. Havemeyer Collection," March 11–November 2, 1930, no. 64.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Francisco Goya: His Paintings, Drawings and Prints," January 27–March 8, 1936, no. 10.
Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. "30 Masterpieces: An Exhibition of Paintings from the Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art," October 4–November 23, 1947, unnumbered cat.
Iowa City. State University of Iowa, School of Fine Arts. "30 Masterpieces: An Exhibition of Paintings from the Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art," January 9–March 31, 1948, unnumbered cat.
Bloomington. Indiana University. "30 Masterpieces: An Exhibition of Paintings from the Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art," April 18–May 16, 1948, no catalogue.
Worcester, Mass. Worcester Art Museum. "Portraits of Women, XVI to XX Centuries," February 16–March 27, 1949, no catalogue.
Palm Beach. Society of the Four Arts. "European Masters of the XVII and XVIII Centuries," January 13–February 5, 1950, no. 21.
New York. Wildenstein. "A Loan Exhibition of Goya," November 9–December 16, 1950, no. 21.
Des Moines Art Center. "Masterpieces of Portrait and Figure Painting," November 5, 1952–February 1, 1953, no catalogue.
Milwaukee Auditorium. "Metropolitan Art Museum $1,000,000 Masterpiece Exhibition," March 7–14, 1953, unnumbered cat. (p. 21).
Austin, Tex. City Coliseum. "Texas Fine Arts Festival: Metropolitan Museum $1,000,000 Collection of Old Masters," April 18–26, 1953, not on checklist.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Goya: Drawings and Prints," May 4–30, 1955, no. 175.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Splendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection," March 27–June 20, 1993, no. A294.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Goya in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 12–December 31, 1995, unnumbered cat.
Huntington, N.Y. Heckscher Museum. "Goya to Vicente: Tradition and Response," September 8–December 16, 2001, no catalogue.
Elías Tormo y Monzó. "Las pinturas de Goya (con motivo de la Exposición de sus obras, en Madrid)." Revista de la Asociación Artístico Arqueológica Barcelonesa 2 (July–August 1900), p. 586 n. 1, publishes a list of exhibited works not included in the Madrid 1900 catalogue, with this picture as no. 170, lent by Felipe Modet.
Gonzalo de Cerrajería. "La exposición de obras de Goya." El País (June 3, 1900) [reprinted in "Goya 1900: Catálogo ilustrado y estudio de la exposición en el ministerio de instrucción pública y bellas artes," vol. 1, Madrid, 2002, p. 200], remarks on the sitter's incomparable grace and elegance.
Narciso Sentenach. "Notas sobre la exposición de Goya." La España moderna 138 (June 1900), the article appears on pp. 34–53 [reprinted in "Goya 1900: Catálogo ilustrado y estudio de la exposición en el ministerio de instrucción pública y bellas artes," vol. 1, Madrid, 2002, p. 216], refers to it as an attractive and previously unpublished portrait added later to the Madrid 1900 exhibition.
S. L. Bensusan. "Goya: His Times and Portraits. Part I." Connoisseur 2 (January 1902), p. 30, ill.
S. L. Bensusan. "Goya: His Times and Portraits. Part II." Connoisseur 4 (October 1902), p. 123.
Valerian von Loga. Francisco de Goya. Berlin, 1903, pp. 118, 196, no. 227 [2nd ed., 1921], dates this picture 1810, based on the Royal Order of Joseph depicted in its pendant, "Don Juan Bautista de Goicoechea" (Staatliche Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe) [see Ref. Lauts 1966].
Lucien Solvay. "Les femmes de Goya." L'art et les artistes 2 (March 1906), ill. p. 201, erroneously cites it as in the collection of Fel. Todet.
Albert F. Calvert. Goya, an Account of His Life and Works. London, 1908, pl. 124, erroneously as still in the collection of Felipe Modet.
Paul Lafond. Goya y Lucientes: Cinquante planches d'après ses oeuvres les plus célèbres. Paris, 1910, unpaginated, unnumbered pl., lists it as "Portrait de Doña Narcisa Barañama [sic] de Goicoechea," but cites it correctly on the leaf before the plate; notes erroneously that it is in the collection of Felipe Modet.
Hugh Stokes. Francisco Goya: A Study of the Work and Personality of the Eighteenth Century Spanish Painter and Satirist. London, 1914, p. 337, no. 236, lists it as "Doña Narcisa Barañona [sic] de Goicoechea" in the collection of Felipe Modet.
Christian Brinton. "Goya and Certain Goyas in America." Art in America 3 (April 1915), p. 94, calls it "one of Goya's finest female portraits".
A. de Beruete y Moret. Goya: Pintor de retratos. Madrid, 1916, pp. 101, 180, no. 248 [English ed., 1922, pp. 123, 214, no. 257], notes its inclusion in the Madrid 1900 exhibition and calls it the companion to the portrait of Juan Bautista de Goicoechea [then Galerie Durand Ruel, Paris; now Staatliche Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe].
August L. Mayer. Francisco de Goya. Munich, 1923, p. 192, no. 283 [English ed., 1924, p. 156, no. 283], dates it about 1805.
Francisco Zapater y Gómez. Colección de cuatrocientas cuarenta y nueve reproducciones de cuadros, dibujos y aguafuertes de Don Francisco de Goya . . . publicadas por Don Francisco Zapater y Gómez en 1860. Madrid, 1924, pl. 168.
Tomás G. Larraya. Goya: Su vida, sus obras. Barcelona, 1928, p. 185.
X. Desparmet Fitz-Gerald. L'oeuvre peint de Goya: Catalogue raisonné. Paris, 1928–50, vol. 1, p. 24 n. 2, p. 52 n. 3; vol. 2, pp. 86, 315, 329, no. 368, pl. 291, dates it about 1796 and calls it "Portrait de Dona Narcisa Barañana de Goicoetchea [sic]"; notes that this picture was not included in the Madrid 1900 exhibition catalogue, but was included as no. 170 in a list posted on the gallery wall, as lent by Felipe Modet.
R. Gómez de la Serna. Goya. Madrid, , p. 277.
August L. Mayer. "Francisco de Goya." Pantheon 1 (April 1928), ill. p. 194.
"The H. O. Havemeyer Collection." Parnassus 2 (March 1930), p. 4, describes it as presenting "an amiable if stupid personality".
Frank Jewett Mather Jr. "The Havemeyer Pictures." The Arts 16 (March 1930), pp. 467–68, dates it about 1805.
H. O. Havemeyer Collection: Catalogue of Paintings, Prints, Sculpture and Objects of Art. n.p., 1931, p. 44, ill. p. 45, date it about 1805 and refer to the sitter as Goya's cousin.
Francisco Goya: His Paintings, Drawings and Prints. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1936, unpaginated, no. 10, ill., date it about 1805.
Harry B. Wehle. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Catalogue of Italian, Spanish, and Byzantine Paintings. New York, 1940, p. 248, ill., dates it about 1805.
Martin S. Soria. "Agustín Esteve and Goya." Art Bulletin 25 (September 1943), p. 253 n. 71.
Enrique Lafuente Ferrari. Antecedentes, coincidencias e influencias del arte de Goya: Catalogo ilustrado de la exposicion celebrada en 1932. Madrid, 1947, p. 291, states that this picture and its companion portrait in Karlsruhe cannot have been painted until 1810 because the Royal Order of Spain worn by Juan Bautista was not created until that year.
Millia Davenport. The Book of Costume. New York, 1948, vol. 2, p. 808, no. 2260, ill. (cropped).
Theodore Rousseau Jr. "A Guide to the Picture Galleries." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 12, part 2 (January 1954), pp. 5–6.
Juan Antonio Gaya Nuño. La pintura española fuera de España. Madrid, 1958, p. 175, no. 1058, dates it 1810.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The H. O. Havemeyer Collection. 2nd ed. New York, 1958, p. 34, no. 189.
Gabriel Rouchès. La peinture espagnole des origines au XXe siècle. Paris, 1958, p. 420.
Elizabeth du Gué Trapier. "Only Goya." Burlington Magazine 102 (April 1960), pp. 158, 161, notes that in this picture and in a portrait of the Duchess of Alba (Hispanic Society of America) Goya placed his name on the rings worn by his sitters; concludes that "perhaps it was a current fashion".
Louisine W. Havemeyer. Sixteen to Sixty: Memoirs of a Collector. New York, 1961, p. 177, notes that when this picture was lent to the Knoedler exhibition in 1912 one critic remarked that it was "as fine as a Velázquez," prompting another to ask "why not say, as fine as a Goya?".
Francisco Javier Sánchez Cantón. Goya. New York, , p. 69, fig. 116 (color).
Claus Virch. Letter to Jan Lauts. February 26, 1965, relates that Elizabeth du Gué Trapier excluded this picture from her book "Goya and His Sitters" [New York, 1964], because she does not believe in Goya's authorship; she furthermore claims that the identification of the sitter must be fictitious, as she has not come across the name in her extensive research.
Jan Lauts. Katalog Alte Meister bis 1800. Karlsruhe, 1966, p. 129, dates the portrait of Juan Bautista (no. 2515) 1815–16, as he wears the Royal Order of Charles III, bestowed upon him in 1815; believes this honor and Juan Bautista's appointment in the same year as Minister of War prompted the commission of this portrait; notes that our picture is often mentioned as a companion piece to the one in Karlsruhe, but states there is no evidence to support this.
Gaspar Gómez de la Serna. Goya y su España. Madrid, 1969, pp. 192, 285, dates it 1810.
Pierre Gassier and Juliet Wilson. Vie et oeuvre de Francisco Goya. Ed. François Lachenal. Fribourg, Switzerland, 1970, pp. 253, 261, no. 889, ill. [English ed., 1971], date it about 1810 but note that its authenticity has been questioned.
José Gudiol. Goya 1746–1828: Biographie, analyse critique et catalogue des peintures. Paris, 1970, pp. 130, 303, no. 528, fig. 833 [Spanish ed., 1969–70; English ed., 1971, vol. 1, pp. 132, 309, no. 528; vol. 4, fig. 833], dates it about 1803–06 and considers it characteristic of the portraits Goya painted around the turn of the century; mentions it as an example of the variation in the artist's response to individual sitters, noting that "the pretentious and well-preened Narcisa Barañana de Goicoechea inevitably inspired a portrait of a very artificial appearance"; remarks that the "enormous ornament in her hair... could not but affect the general impression of the painting".
Rita de Angelis. L'opera pittorica completa di Goya. Milan, 1974, p. 123, no. 498, ill. p. 122 and colorpl. 43, tentatively dates it 1810 or earlier and notes that its authenticity has been questioned.
José Camón Aznar. Fran. de Goya. Vol. 3, Saragossa, 1981, p. 152, dates it 1805 and attributes it to Goya.
Alfonso E. Pérez Sánchez. Goya. Paris, 1989, p. 153, no. 21, ill., as by Goya; dates it 1803–06.
Louisine W. Havemeyer. Sixteen to Sixty: Memoirs of a Collector. Ed. Susan Alyson Stein. 3rd ed. [1st ed. 1930, repr. 1961]. New York, 1993, pp. 132, 177, 323 n. 181, p. 327 nn. 242, 243.
Susan Alyson Stein inSplendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1993, pp. 233, 235, 243, 267, 284, colorpl. 233, dates it about 1805.
Gary Tinterow inSplendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1993, p. 14, notes that this painting is "widely regarded as authentic, although doubts about it have been raised".
Gretchen Wold inSplendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1993, p. 343, no. A294, ill. p. 344, as by Goya.
José Luis Morales y Marín. Goya: Catálogo de la pintura. Saragossa, 1994, p. 301, no. 387, ill. [English ed., 1997], dates it 1810 and ascribes it to Goya, erroneously identifying it as "Narcisa Baragaña de Goicoechea".
Susan Alyson Stein inGoya in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1995, pp. 48, 57, 63 n. 65, p. 67, fig. 29 and figs. 35, 40 (installation views), considers its conception formulaic and calls it "still tentatively attributed to Goya," although "it seems almost certainly a pastiche"; finds similar motifs in authentic Goya works such as the pose and costume of the maja in plate 15 of the "Caprichos," the rose in the "Marquesa de Villafranca" (Prado, Madrid), the bow in the "Marquesa de la Solana" (Louvre), and the ring in the "Duchess of Alba" (Hispanic Society, New York).
Holland Cotter. "World of Goya and Those Who Would Be Goya." New York Times (September 15, 1995), p. C30, describes it as "clinging for dear life to the status of 'attributed to'".
Gary Tinterow. "The Metropolitan's 'Majas,' not by Goya." Goya in the Museum's Collection: Controversies and Insights. October 20, 1995, considers it a pastiche, with the mantilla and bow taken from one painting and the ring from another.
Nigel Glendinning. "Goya at the Metropolitan." Apollo 142 (December 1995), p. 66, believes this picture should be reexamined and cleaned before its authenticity is determined, observing that "the quality under the gunk suggests the master's hand"; does not think it can be dated 1810.
Paul Jeromack. "Goya: Truth and Enlightenment." Art Newspaper no. 51 (September 1995), p. 12, notes this picture "(not previously doubted) is newly and meekly demoted to an 'attributed' work".
José Manuel Arnaiz. "Nuevas andanzas de Goya: Falsos y auténticos en el Metropolitan." Galería antiquaria no. 136 (February 1996), pp. 43, 45, ill. (color), illustrates it as "Goya and workshop," and comments that similarities with authentic Goya works would ordinarily support a painting's attribution to the master, but that in this case, they are cited as evidence of a pastiche [see Ref. Stein 1995]; observes that this picture has startlingly beautiful passages which suggest Goya's hand and that a technical examination is necessary to determine its authorship.
Jeannine Baticle. "Goya au Metropolitan." Connaissance des arts no. 527 (April 1996), p. 63, fig. 4 (color), notes that Goya's signature on the ring is now considered false; calls the Karlsruhe portrait of Juan Bautista an authentic Goya painted in 1816, the year the sitter received the Order of Charles III, but wonders if our portrait is actually its pendant; notes that in spite of the popular Spanish type represented here, the handling is dry and overfinished, lacking the spirited quality typical of Goya.
Jesusa Vega inGoya 1900: Catálogo ilustrado y estudio de la exposicion en el Ministerio de Instrucción Publica y Bellas Artes. Madrid, 2002, vol. 1, p. 103; vol. 2, p. 264, no. 170, ill. pp. 265, 344 (photographs taken in 1900 by Mariano Moreno and Antonio Cánovas y Vallejo), observes that the MMA calls it "attributed to Goya" without suggesting an alternative author.
Matthias Weniger inGreco, Velázquez, Goya: Spanische Malerei aus deutschen Sammlungen. Ed. Matthias Weniger. Exh. cat., Bucerius Kunst Forum, Hamburg. Munich, 2005, p. 158, under no. 71, states that it comes from the Herzog collection.
Narcisa Barañana de Goicoechea was the wife of Juan Bautista de Goicoechea y Urrutia, a distant relative of Gumersinda Goicoechea, who married Goya's son Javier in 1805. The costume worn by the sitter is that of a "maja," or young woman of the Spanish working class. Similar dress is shown in Goya's portraits of the Duchess of Alba, 1797 (Hispanic Society, New York), Amalia Bonells de Costa, 1803–6 (Detroit Institute of Arts), and in the Queen María Luisa in a Mantilla of 1799 (Palacio Real, Madrid). In the pendant to this portrait (111.5 x 80 cm, Staatliche Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe), Juan Bautista wears the Order of Charles III, which he received in 1815, the same year he was appointed Minister of War to Ferdinand VII. Our painting, then, may date between 1805 and 1815.
Although previously accepted as autograph, the attribution of this painting is now questioned.