Isabel de Porcel (1804-05) by Francisco Goya

Isabel de Porcel - Goya, Francisco - 1804-05

Artwork Information

TitleIsabel de Porcel
ArtistFrancisco Goya
Date1804-05
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions82 x 54 cm
Current LocationNational Gallery, London
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About Isabel de Porcel

Doña Isabel de Porcel is a portrait painted by Francisco Goya around 1804-05. The subject of the painting is Isabel Lobo Velasco de Porcel, who was the second wife of Antonio Porcel, dressed in typical Spanish attire. The portrait is considered one of Goya’s most dazzling and admired paintings for its exceptional use of light and shadow that emphasizes the details of the intricate lace shawl, known as mantilla, draped over Isabel’s head and shoulders.

Goya exhibited a completed version of Doña Isabel de Porcel at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Madrid in 1805. It was identified through an X-ray that revealed another portrait underneath. Although it is unclear what was hidden underneath, some art historians believe it could be a portrait of someone else entirely.

The transparency of Isabel’s lace shawl or mantilla in Doña Isbel De Porcel has been noted as one specific mechanism that makes this painting dazzlingly brilliant goya-style artwork for he incorporates texture while underlining its delicacy almost any viewer can sense from the piece. This rare brilliance makes it almost certainly identifiable with a similar portrait exhibited at Real Academia de San Fernando also in Madrid during the same year (1805).

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