Two Goya paintings that cannot leave Spain coincide in the auction market

The summer of 2022 appears to be a good time to acquire a Goya canvas in Madrid. On June 23 and July 6 it will be possible to bid in the Alcalá Subastas and Abalarte rooms for paintings Aapparition of the Virgen del Pilar to the apostle Santiago and his disciples (1775) and baptism of christ (1774), created by the immortal artist from Fuendetodos. It will be necessary to have available between two and two and a half million euros of entry to get hold of any of them, but bearing in mind that they are inexportable.

The face of Jesus in baptism of christ, according to Abalarte Subastas, it could be that of Francisco de Goya (1746-1828) himself, “since his hair appears in a ponytail, as in other self-portraits of the painter”. According to the Ministry of Culture and Sports, it is “a work unanimously considered by Goya, of great technical and expressive quality and that is in an excellent state of conservation.” So much so that the ministry has prohibited the oil from going abroad, except for exhibitions.

'Apparition of the Virgin of Pilar to the apostle Santiago and his disciples' (1775), by Francisco de Goya.
‘Apparition of the Virgin of Pilar to the apostle Santiago and his disciples’ (1775), by Francisco de Goya.

The canvas, 45 by 39 centimeters, belonged to Juan Martín de Goicoechea y Galarza (1732-1806), protective friend of the Aragonese genius, and from him, on his death, it passed to his nephew Pedro Miguel López de Goicocechea. From there, the work went from mansion to mansion until it ended up in the hands of its current owners, who are now putting it up for sale to the highest bidder on July 6 with a starting price of two and a half million euros.

According to him catalog of the Goya Foundation in Aragon, “the painting was done on a preparation with a low concentration of glue, which gave rise to a very accentuated cracking in the shape of a tile, very characteristic of some of the artist’s works from this period. This made the pigment easily detached from the tissue at the edges of the islands that cracking forms and for this reason the work underwent a consolidation and restoration treatment in the 1980s.

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For its part, Apparition of the Virgen del Pilar to the apostle Santiago and his disciples It is, according to TheArtMarket magazine, a “magnificent large-format canvas (107 by 80 cm) released by the Marquis of Lozoya in 1951. The piece could be seen in 2012 at the Royal Palace exhibition Goya and the infante Don Luis the exile and the kingdom. Art and science at the time of the Spanish Enlightenment. Later, between 2013 and 2018, it was part of the permanent exhibition of the Goya Museum in Zaragoza, under loan [préstamo] .

Portrait of the Duke of Alba, in the Goya Museum in Zaragoza.
Portrait of the Duke of Alba, in the Goya Museum in Zaragoza.Javier Onion

According to him Herald of Aragonthe painting will be offered to the highest bidder on June 23 starting at two million euros, “a figure significantly lower than the one it had when it went on the market in 2011, then at Caylus, also from Madrid, which offered it for direct sale for 4.5 million”.

For its part, the Ibercaja Foundation has incorporated an unpublished work by the painter into its Goya Museum in Zaragoza this Wednesday: The portrait of the young Duke of Alba and Marquis of Villafranca, José María Álvarez de Toledo, Osorio y Gonzaga (1783). It is an oil on canvas measuring 52.5 by 42.7 centimeters that comes from a private collection. As the work lacks any documentation, the features of the character reflected in the canvas have been compared with those shown in a painting of the aristocrat preserved in Chicago. Biometric studies have confirmed that it is the same person: the Duke of Alba that Goya knew and whom he made immortal.

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