José Costa y Bonells (died l870), Called Pepito

Goya (Francisco de Goya y Lucientes) Spanish

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 641

The dazzling whites of this child’s elaborate costume, tailored in imitation of a soldier’s uniform, set him apart from the additional military references guised as toys: a horse, drum, and rifle with fixed bayonet. This extraordinary portrait is most closely related to works that Goya painted shortly after 1810 and seems to allude to the Spanish War of Independence (1808–14). Known by the nickname Pepito, the sitter was the son of Rafael Costa de Quintana, doctor to King Ferdinand VII; his mother was the daughter of Jaime Bonells, doctor to the Alba family, important patrons of Goya’s.

José Costa y Bonells (died l870), Called Pepito, Goya (Francisco de Goya y Lucientes) (Spanish, Fuendetodos 1746–1828 Bordeaux), Oil on canvas

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