Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes
Portrait of Gerónima Goicoechea y Galarza
Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes, Spanish, Portrait of Gerónima Goicoechea y Galarza, 1805, Oil on copper; Diameter: 8.9 cm (3 1/2 inches) (sight), Gift of Grenville L. Winthrop 34.1366
Two miniature portraits in the RISD Museum collection depict the young sisters-in-law of Goya’s son, Javier. The artist painted several small portraits such as these, perhaps as gifts to family members. The older of the two girls, Gerónima (34.1366), gazes to the right, her curly brown hair tucked beneath a gold-colored bonnet. At fifteen she is approaching womanhood and marriageable age, but her dark eyes suggest shyness. Her younger sister, Cesárea (34.1365), in profile facing left, wears a blue empire-waisted dress with narrow sleeves. Ribbons cascade from her bonnet to her throat and draw attention to her wide eyes, upturned nose, and slender torso. Painting in oil on small copper discs, Goya rendered these highlighted portraits on a dark, smooth ground. His fluid brushstrokes evoke his sitters’ youthfulness and emphasize the reflective quality of their complexions and costumes.