The Joy of Museums

Finding Meaning in a Museum

Portrait of Doña Antonia Zárate

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes - Portrait of Antonia Zárate - WGA10053

“The Portrait of Doña Antonia Zárate” by the Spanish artist Francisco Goya is a portrait of the actress Antonia Zárate. It was produced in Goya’s studio and it shows her wearing a fashionable black silk dress in the Empire style. Her arms are covered by fingerless white gloves, her hands holding a closed fan and a mantilla on her head and shoulders.

Antonia Zárate was the daughter of an actor and director of a performing company. She continued in the family tradition as an actress and singer with success throughout Spain, but mainly acted in the Spanish capital where she became a friend of Francisco Goya.

This portrait was painted in 1805 and a second portrait was also painted in 1810-11, the face and hair are very similar, however the background and dress are very different. This second painting is now in the Hermitage Museum.

Francisco-Goya - Portrait-of-the-Actress-Antonia-Zarate

This “Portrait of Doña Antonia Zárate” is an 1810-1811 painting, now in the Hermitage Museum

This first Goya masterpiece, painted in 1805, was stolen twice, in the 1970’s and the again in 1980’s from a private collector twice. After is recovery in 1993 it was donated to the National Gallery of Ireland.

Essential Facts:

  • Title:                 Portrait of Doña Antonia Zárate
  • Spanish:           Retrato de Doña Antonia Zárate
  • Artist:               Francisco de Goya
  • Created:           1805
  • Medium:         oil on canvas
  • Periods:           Baroque
  • Dimensions:   H: 103.5 cm (40.7 in). W: 82 cm (32.3 in).
  • Museum:         National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin

Artist:

  • Name:           Francisco Goya
  • Birth:            1746 – Fuendetodos, Aragon, Spain
  • Died:             1828 (aged 82) – Bordeaux, France
  • Nationality: Spanish
  • Movement:  Romanticism
  • Masterpieces:
    • The Second of May 1808, 1814
    • The Third of May 1808, 1814. Oil on canvas, 266 х 345 cm. Museo del Prado, Madrid
    • La maja vestida, 1800–1805
    • Charles IV of Spain and His Family, 1800
    • The Parasol, 1777
    • Sacrifice to Pan, 1771. Colección José Gudiol, Barcelona

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“Art is never finished, only abandoned.” Leonardo da Vinci

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Photo Credit 1) Francisco de Goya [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons