Francisco de Goya
Portrait of Cesárea Goicoechea y Galarza
Francisco de Goya, Spanish, Portrait of Cesárea Goicoechea y Galarza, 1806, Oil on copper; 8.9 cm (3 1/2 inches) (diameter) diameter of portrait through sight, Gift of Mrs. Murray S. Danforth 34.1365
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.