Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (Spanish, 1746–1828)
Oil on canvas; 41 x 32 3/4 in. (104.1 x 83.2 cm)
Bequest of Harry Payne Bingham, 1955 (55.145.1)
Goya was perhaps Madrid's most successful and sought-after portraitist by 1804, when Colonel Garcini commissioned him to make this pair of portraits of himself and his wife Josefa. Typical of Goya's work at this time, they are more remarkable for their differences than their similarities: he is official, she is informal; he is standing, she is sitting. At mid-career, Goya made fewer concessions to formal conventions, attractiveness, and rank. Colonel Garcini, an official in the War Department, wears the uniform of the Corps of Engineers. The embroidered red cross on his coat and the badge of the Order of Santiago are decorations he received in 1806 and must have been added to the portrait later. Garcini was apparently a collaborator after the French invaded Spain in 1808. He wrote a book in 1811 entitled Chronicle of Spain since the Reign of Charles IV. Account of the Persecution Suffered by Colonel D. Ignacio Garcini.