Josefa de Castilla Portugal y van Asbrock de Garcini (1775–about 1850)

Goya (Francisco de Goya y Lucientes) (Spanish, Fuendetodos 1746–1828 Bordeaux)

Oil on canvas
41 x 32 3/8 in. (104.1 x 82.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Bequest of Harry Payne Bingham, 1955
Accession Number:
  • Gallery Label

    In this pendant to the portrait of her husband, Ignacio Garcini y Queralt, Doña Garcini is evidently pregnant, which may account for the informality of her hair and dress. Her Rubensian features and coloring, invariably noted by critics, have only recently been explained: Josefa's mother, whose name was Van Asbrock, was of Flemish descent.

  • Catalogue Entry

    Josefa de Castilla Portugal y van Asbrock married, on January 19, 1801, in Madrid, Colonel Ignacio Garcini y Queralt, who was also portrayed by Goya (MMA 55.145.1). The sitter is identified by the inscription on the lower right. Josefa was described by Francisco Alcántara in El Imparcial of May 10, 1900 as "a perfect dream of beauty, a symbol of what her husband’s name evokes for all good Spaniards, a lively intelligence and acuteness, with a certain expression of malice and suspicion appropriate for the husband of such a woman."

    She appears in the portrait in an informal pose, with her loose hair and a simple dress, holding a small fan with both hands. It has been suggested that Josefa may be pregnant in this painting. The influence of Flemish prototypes—Rubens in particular—has been noted from a very early date, and this may be due to Josefa’s own origins, as her mother was of Flemish descent [see Ref. Balsa de la Vega 1900]. The portrait has also been related stylistically to the work of Rembrandt [see Ref. Glendenning 1969] and to the influence of Greek art [see Ref. Mena Marqés 2005]. The pose of Josefa is close to images of the repentant Magdalen [see Ref. Danvila 1900].

    The portraits of Josefa and her husband are different in mode—martial and formal for Ignacio, unceremonious and romantic for Josefa—and it has recently been questioned whether they were intended to be pendants [see Refs. Reuter 2001 and Tomlinson 2002]. Both portraits, however, date from the same year and it seems likely that notwithstanding their differences in approach they were conceived at the same time. They may have originally been displayed in different spaces in the Garcini household, and that would have compensated for the inconsistency in manner between the two images.

    The portraits remained with the Garcini family until 1910, when Vicente Garcini, a nephew of Ignacio, sold both of them, through Ricardo Madrazo, to Colonel Oliver H. Payne in New York. His nephew, Harry Payne Bingham, bequeathed the paintings to the Museum in 1955.


  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Signed, dated, and inscribed (lower right): Da. Josefa Castilla. de / Garcini. pr. Goya. 1804

  • Provenance

    Ignacio Garcini y Queralt, Madrid (1804–d. 1825); nephew of the sitter, Vicente Garcini, Madrid (by 1900–1910; sold with its pendant [MMA 55.145.1] through Ricardo de Madrazo for Fr 165,000 to Payne); Colonel Oliver H. Payne, New York (1910–d. 1917); Harry Payne Bingham, New York (1917–d. 1955)

  • Exhibition History

    Madrid. Ministerio de Instrucción Pública y Bellas Artes. "Goya," May 1900, no. 107 (lent by Vicente Garcini).

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Fiftieth Anniversary Exhibition," May 8–August 1920, not in catalogue.

    New York. Wildenstein. "A Loan Exhibition of Goya," November 9–December 16, 1950, no. 19 (lent by Mr. and Mrs. Harry Payne Bingham).

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Goya: Drawings and Prints," May 4–May 30, 1955, no. 174 (lent by the Estate of Harry Payne Bingham).

    Madrid. Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando. "Goya, la década de los caprichos: Retratos 1792–1804," October 26, 1992–January 10, 1993, no. 68.

    Museo de Arte de Ponce. "Francisco de Goya en Ponce," May 13–August 13, 1995, no catalogue?

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Goya in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 12–December 31, 1995, unnumbered cat.

    Madrid. Museo Nacional del Prado. "Goya: La imagen de la mujer," October 30, 2001–February 10, 2002, no. 67.

    Washington. National Gallery of Art. "Goya: Images of Women," March 10–June 2, 2002, no. 34.

    Berlin. Alte Nationalgalerie. "Goya: Prophet der Moderne," July 13–October 3, 2005, no. 83.

    Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna. "Goya: Prophet der Moderne," October 18, 2005–January 8, 2006, no. 83.

  • References

    Francisco Alcántara. El Imparcial (May 10, 1900) [see Ref. Vega 2002], describes the sitter as "a perfect dream of a beauty, a symbol of what her husband's name evokes for all good Spaniards [presumably in light of his role as a traitor during the War of Independence], a lively intelligence and acuteness, with a certain expression of malice and suspicion appropriate for the husband of such a woman".

    Rafael Balsa de la Vega. "Exposición de obras de Goya." La Ilustración Española y Americana 44 (May 22, 1900) [reprinted in "Goya 1900: Catálogo ilustrado y estudio de la exposición en el ministerio de instrucción pública y bellas artes," vol. 1, Madrid, 2002, p. 187], compares it to a Rubens portrait and calls it unlike any other Goya female portrait, both in the sitter's appearance and in technique, noting a less somber palette than usual


    Antonio Cánovas y Vallejo. "La exposición de cuadros de Goya." La Época (May 12, 1900) [reprinted in "Goya 1900: Catálogo ilustrado y estudio de la exposición en el ministerio de instrucción pública y bellas artes," vol. 1, Madrid, 2002, p. 165], describes this picture and its pendant as "superior" canvases.

    Gonzalo de Cerrajería. "La exposición de obras de Goya." El País (June 3, 1900) [reprinted in "Goya 1900: Catálogo ilustrado y estudio de la exposición en el ministerio de instrucción pública y bellas artes," vol. 1, Madrid, 2002, p. 200], notes that it looks like the paintings of Rubens.

    Alfonso Danvila. "Una visita a la exposición de Goya." La Época (May 23, 1900) [reprinted in "Goya 1900: Catálogo ilustrado y estudio de la exposición en el ministerio de instrucción pública y bellas artes," vol. 1, Madrid, 2002, p. 197], remarks that the sitter resembles a penitent Magdalen, such as those in contemporaneous French and Italian paintings, lacking only a wooden cross and landscape setting.

    "La exposición de cuadros de Goya." La Época (May 17, 1900) [reprinted in "Goya 1900: Catálogo ilustrado y estudio de la exposición en el ministerio de instrucción pública y bellas artes," vol. 1, Madrid, 2002, p. 141], mentions it as a notable work in the Madrid 1900 exhibition.

    Juan Pérez de Guzmán. "Recuerdos de antaño. Las mujeres de Goya." La Época (May 25, 1900) [reprinted in "Goya 1900: Catálogo ilustrado y estudio de la exposición en el ministerio de instrucción pública y bellas artes," vol. 1, Madrid, 2002, p. 171].

    Narciso Sentenach. "Notas sobre la exposición de Goya." La España moderna 138 (June 1900), the article appears on pp. 34–53 [reprinted in "Goya 1900: Catálogo ilustrado y estudio de la exposición en el ministerio de instrucción pública y bellas artes," vol. 1, Madrid, 2002, pp. 213–14], characterizes her expression as serene and kind.

    Elías Tormo y Monzó. "Las pinturas de Goya (con motivo de la Exposición de sus obras, en Madrid)." Revista de la Asociación Artístico Arqueológica Barcelonesa 2 (July–August 1900), pp. 596, 598, considers the Garcini portraits typical of Goya's style from 1810 until 1817–18.

    S. L. Bensusan. "Goya: His Times and Portraits. Part II." Connoisseur 4 (October 1902), p. 123.

    Paul Lafond. Goya. Paris, [1902], p. 127, no. 111, refers to the Garcini portraits as pendants.

    Valerian von Loga. Francisco de Goya. Berlin, 1903, p. 195, no. 221 [2nd ed., 1921].

    Lucien Solvay. "Les femmes de Goya." L'art et les artistes 2 (March 1906), ill. p. 201.

    Albert F. Calvert. Goya, an Account of His Life and Works. London, 1908, p. 134, no. 117, pl. 46, as in the collection of Vicente Garcini.

    Hugh Stokes. Francisco Goya: A Study of the Work and Personality of the Eighteenth Century Spanish Painter and Satirist. London, 1914, p. 337, no. 235, erroneously as still with Garcini.

    A. de Beruete y Moret. Goya: Pintor de retratos. Madrid, 1916, pp. 99, 179, no. 216 [English ed., 1922, pp. 120–21, 212, no. 224], calls it inspired by Flemish art; locates it in the collection of Colonel Payne, New York, and calls it a companion to the portrait of Ignacio Garcini.

    "Pictures Lent for the Fiftieth Anniversary Exhibition." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 15 (August 1920), p. 190, calls it a remarkable, characteristic portrait by Goya, lent by Harry Payne Bingham.

    "Recent Loans." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 16 (February 1921), p. 40, states that Harry Payne Bingham extended his loan of the Garcini portraits beyond the closing of the MMA Fiftieth Anniversary Exhibition.

    August L. Mayer. Francisco de Goya. Munich, 1923, p. 192, no. 273 [English ed., 1924, p. 155, no. 273], as on loan to the MMA from the Colonel Payne collection, New York.

    Francisco Zapater y Gómez. Colección de cuatrocientas cuarenta y nueve reproducciones de cuadros, dibujos y aguafuertes de Don Francisco de Goya . . . publicadas por Don Francisco Zapater y Gómez en 1860. Madrid, 1924, pl. 85, as in the collection of Colonel Payne, New York.

    X. Desparmet Fitz-Gerald. L'oeuvre peint de Goya: Catalogue raisonné. Paris, 1928–50, vol. 1, p. 27 n. 1; vol. 2, p. 152, no. 439, pl. 358, as from the collection of Doña Vicenta Garcini [sic].

    R. Gómez de la Serna. Goya. Madrid, [1928], p. 275.

    Tomás G. Larraya. Goya: Su vida, sus obras. Barcelona, 1928, p. 185, erroneously as in the MMA collection.

    Martin S. Soria. "Agustín Esteve and Goya." Art Bulletin 25 (September 1943), p. 249, fig. 12 (detail), calls the sitter "a Rubenesque beauty of great reality" in comparison to a portrait of the Countess of Casa Flores [Museo de Arte de São Paolo], which he attributes to Agustín Esteve.

    Herbert Weissberger. "Goya and His Handwriting." Gazette des beaux-arts 29 (February 1946), p. 115, fig. 2 (detail of inscription), describes the inscription as "a rendering in Goya's handwriting" in contrast to the "formal cursive lettering" on his portraits of Martin Zapater [Private collection, Switzerland] and Bernardo de Iriarte [Musée des Beaux-Arts, Strasbourg].

    "Goya." Art News 49 (November 1950), ill. p. 34.

    F. J. Sanchez Canton. Vida y obras de Goya. Madrid, 1951, p. 80 n. 100, p. 170.

    "Additions to the Collections." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 15 (October 1956), p. 42.

    Martin S. Soria. Agustin Esteve y Goya. Valencia, 1957, p. 58, fig. 14 (detail), [see Ref. Soria 1943].

    Juan Antonio Gaya Nuño. La pintura española fuera de España. Madrid, 1958, p. 170, no. 1010.

    Gabriel Rouchès. La peinture espagnole des origines au XXe siècle. Paris, 1958, p. 423, erroneously as still on loan to the MMA from Colonel Payne's collection.

    Louisine W. Havemeyer. Sixteen to Sixty: Memoirs of a Collector. New York, 1961, p. 178, relates that she secured the two Garcini portraits for Colonel Payne through Ricardo de Madrazo.

    Elizabeth du Gué Trapier. Goya and His Sitters: A Study of His Style as a Portraitist. New York, 1964, pp. 25, 54, no. 43, pl. 43, calls it "amazingly different from Goya's other portraits of women, although undoubtedly authentic".

    Nigel Glendinning. "Goya's Portrait of Andrés del Peral." Apollo 89 (March 1969), p. 200, refers to it as "Isabel de Garcini" [sic] and mentions it in relation to Goya's portrait of Andrés del Peral (National Gallery, London), in which "Rembrandtesque solutions" define a chiaroscuro-contrast between sitter and background.

    Gaspar Gómez de la Serna. Goya y su España. Madrid, 1969, pp. 166, 284.

    Pierre Gassier and Juliet Wilson. Vie et oeuvre de Francisco Goya. Fribourg, Switzerland, 1970, pp. 158, 167, 199, no. 821, ill. [English ed., 1971], call it less successful than the portrait of her husband.

    José Gudiol. Goya 1746–1828: Biographie, analyse critique et catalogue des peintures. Paris, 1970, vol. 1, pp. 122, 125–26, 296–97, no. 492; vol. 3, fig. 783 [Spanish ed., 1969–70; English ed., 1971, vol. 1, pp. 124, 127–28, 303, no. 492; vol. 3, fig. 783], observes that "the majestic proportions of his sitter inspired Goya to paint a figure of great character, reminiscent of the priestesses of his Italian period".

    Rita de Angelis. L'opera pittorica completa di Goya. Milan, 1974, pp. 85, 118, no. 425, ill.

    José Camón Aznar. Fran. de Goya. 3, Saragossa, 1981, p. 147, observes that the sitter's French empire-style dress emphasizes her heaviness and calls her a symbol of beauty in its most poetic and bourgeois sense.

    Pierre Gassier. Goya: Témoin de son temps. Secaucus, 1983, p. 197 [French ed., 1983], calls it one of Goya's most beautiful portraits of young women.

    Alfonso E. Pérez Sánchez. Goya. Paris, 1989, p. 153, no. 7, ill.

    José Valverde Madrid. "Cuatro retratos Goyescos de la sociedad madrileña." Anales del Instituto de Estudios Madrileños 30 (1991), pp. 23, 28, 30, 32, states that the sitter's mother, Tomasa Wanasbrok, was Flemish; describes the portrait as "already fully romantic," while Goya's portrait of her husband is still within the tradition of the 18th century.

    Nigel Glendinning. Goya, la década de los caprichos: Retratos, 1792–1804. Exh. cat.Madrid, 1992, p. 105 n. 320, p. 132, no. 68, colorpl. 68, calls it a Rubenesque and Rembrandtesque portrait; notes that the sitter died about 1850.

    Louisine W. Havemeyer. Sixteen to Sixty: Memoirs of a Collector. 3rd ed. [1st ed. 1930, repr. 1961]. New York, 1993, pp. 178, 327 no. 244, the editor relates that Ricardo de Madrazo secured the Garcini portraits from Vicente Garcini, a descendant of the sitters, and first offered them to Louisine Havemeyer, who instead arranged their sale to Colonel Payne for Fr 165,000.

    Susan Alyson Stein in Splendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1993, pp. 252–53, fig. 86.

    José Luis Morales y Marín. Goya: Catálogo de la pintura. Saragossa, 1994, pp. 35, 97, 280–81, no. 338, ill. [English ed., 1997].

    Janis Tomlinson. Francisco Goya y Lucientes, 1746–1828. London, 1994, pp. 167, 170, 173, colorpl. 130, comments that the sitter's Flemish ancestry prompted Goya to borrow his palette from Rubens, whose pictures he would have seen in the royal collection; calls it a "brutally frank" portrait in which the pregnant sitter, her confinement indicated by her negligée and loose hair, appears awkward, without "any hint of intelligence".

    Susan Alyson Stein in Goya in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1995, pp. 23, 33 n. 5, pp. 39–40, 45, 67, fig. 12, states that following their loan to the MMA Fiftieth Anniversary Exhibition in 1920, the Garcini portraits remained on loan from Harry Payne Bingham until 1927; calls the portraits "rigorously unsentimental" and describes the pregnant sitter as "painfully self-conscious, she guards her midsection apprehensively".

    José Manuel Arnaiz. "Nuevas andanzas de Goya: Falsos y auténticos en el Metropolitan." Galería antiquaria no. 136 (February 1996), p. 43, observes that the left arm has been totally repainted.

    Juliet Wilson-Bareau. "Goya in The Metropolitan Museum of Art." Burlington Magazine 138 (February 1996), p. 101, describes the Garcini portraits as "extremely strange 'pendants'" that should have been reattributed as "not Goya"; finds the inscriptions unconvincing and adds that they were not exhibited until the "notoriously unselective" 1900 Goya exhibition in Madrid.

    Isadora Rose-de Viejo in Etched on the Memory: The Presence of Rembrandt in the Prints of Goya and Picasso. Exh. cat., The Rembrandt House Museum. Blaricum, 2000, p. 55, fig. 73, calls it unlike any other known Goya image and finds numerous parallels to Rembrandt's painting, "Artemisia" (Prado, Madrid), and his etching, "The Great Jewish Bride" (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam).

    Anna Reuter in Goya: La imagen de la mujer. Exh. cat., Museo Nacional del Prado. Madrid, 2001, pp. 256, 337, no. 67, ill. p. 257 (color), observes that, atypically for pendant portraits, there is no visual link between the paintings of the Garcinis to suggest their bond as a married couple, since they do not face one another and their dress is incompatible.

    Janis A. Tomlinson in Goya: Images of Women. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art. Washington, 2002, pp. 22, 180, 182, no. 34, ill. p. 181 (color), questions whether the two Garcini portraits were meant to be viewed side by side [see Ref. Reuter 2001]; calls it more interesting than the portrait of Ignacio Garcini and modifies a previous assessment of the sitter as unintelligent [see Ref. Tomlinson 1994], observing that this impression seems to be due to "the natural asymmetry of her face, which gives her a somewhat distracted look".

    Jesusa Vega in Goya 1900: Catálogo ilustrado y estudio de la exposicion en el Ministerio de Instrucción Publica y Bellas Artes. Madrid, 2002, vol. 1, pp. 98, 104, 113; vol. 2, pp. 210, 212, no. 107, ill. pp. 211, 339, observes that it was cited by most of the critics of the Madrid 1900 exhibition because it demonstrated Goya's range in portraying women; quotes Alcántara's remarks about the Garcini portraits [see Ref. Alcántara 1900].

    Manuela Mena Marqués in Goya: Prophet der Moderne. Exh. cat., Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin. Cologne, 2005, p. 222, no. 83, ill. p. 223 (color), calls it uncharacteristic of Goya's portraits of women, remarking that it was unusual for a woman's hair to be worn loose over her shoulders and arms, which would have evoked images from Greek antiquity.

  • See also
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History