Wednesday, September 30, 2009

La Familia de Carlos IV

This summer, I was privileged enough to travel to Spain with my best friend and her family. We stayed for two weeks and traveled to four different cities. My favorite city by far was the capitol of Spain, Madrid. We began and ended our trip in Madrid, spending a total of six days there. My favorite day was the day we went to visit El Museo del Prado. We were lucky enough to be traveling around the city with a resident of Madrid, a close family friend who was going to school while also tutoring Spanish children in English. Hilary was of the utmost help. I am not usually a fan of museums, so I did not really have high expectations for this day. However, I was completely incorrect in my assumptions. I easily could have spent days in the Prado taking in all of the culture and brilliance in those paintings and sculptures. In this blog, I want to zero in on my favorite paintings. It was an image I had viewed before but I am not really sure where. I am guessing art class in high school. The painting was the centerpiece of that specific room. It was the first thing you saw when you entered. It was a rather large painting, measured about 280 centimeters by 127 centimeters. Painted by Francisco Goya, La Familia de Carlos IV, is considered by some to be one of the most important paintings of that time period.
I found the painting to be important for two different reasons. The first is simply the appearance. Goya was able to make the family portrait look so incredibly life-like. It looks more like a photograph than a painting. More importantly, though, is how Goya used this breathtaking painting to preserve history. The painting was ordered by Queen Maria Louisa de Parma (center) who was known as the matriarch. This is depicted in the fact that she is placed at the center of the painting while the king is to her left. Goya did not like the queen, and therefore was sure to paint her at an unflattering angle, making her arms look quite large. On the left of the painting in blue is the future king standing next to an unidentifiable woman. Goya left her face blurry so he could later fill in with the face of the prince’s wife. Goya was also sure to include the queen’s illegitimate child in the picture. The most comical aspect is that he painted a large mole on the face of the queen’s cousin standing on the left. To say the least, the queen was not happy when she saw what Goya had done to her family portrait.
For more information on this painting or El Museo del Prado, visit[adv]=0


  1. Olá, sua viagem deve ter sido wonderful....

    gostaria de conversar com voce sobre sua viagem a Espanha. Se tiver interesse me envie um email :


  2. Franciso Goya era o pintor oficial de Carlos IV e sua familia. Ficou surdo por volta dos 30 anos. Não chegou a casar mas tinha uma musa inspiradora , que apareceria com frequencia em suas pinturas de anjos, inclusive em igrejas.
    Se quiser saber mais, pode entrar em contato comigo, ou procurar livros de história da arte, ou mesmo assistir o filme " Goya's ghosts"
    Wait contact