Doña Francisca Vicenta Chollet y Caballero

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (Spanish, 1746-1828)
Oil on canvas 
overall: 40 1/2 in x 31 7/8 in 
Credit Line:
Norton Simon Art Foundation 
Accession Number:
© Norton Simon Art Foundation 
On View

In 1799, Francisco de Goya was made First Court Painter to King Charles IV of Spain. For the next ten years he painted numerous official portraits of the royal family, and many portraits of subjects of the court circle. In 1801, he painted Antonio Noriega de Bada y Bermúdez (National Gallery, Washington), the court treasurer and the husband of the sitter in this picture, who in that year was awarded the honorific membership in the Order of Carlos III. Five years later, the painter finished this portrait of Doña Francisca, in which he combines elements of delicate detail with great finesse—the embroidery of her silk dress, her sparkling tiara, and the dog’s outrageous collar—with an equally free, palpable brushwork. X-rays of portions of the composition, including her pose and the scampish pug, reveal final alterations made by Goya, causing some scholars to speculate that the portraits of husband and wife were originally intended as pendants. The ultimate simplicity of the composition and reduction of spatial depth give the subject a quiet and intimate character, despite her diffident aire.


Camille Groult, Paris, before January, 1908, by descent to his wife;
Madame Camille Groult, by descent ca. 1918 to;
Groult heirs until ca. 1925;
[Gimpel and Wildenstein, 1925];
Harrison Williams, New York, by 1928 until his death in 1953, by inheritance to his wife;
Countess Bismarck (formerly Mona Harrison Williams), New York (1899-1983) (sale, London, Christie’s, 10 July 1981, lot 122);
Norton Simon Art Foundation.

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