Exhibition | Goya and the Altamira Family

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on May 5, 2014

Press release (10 April 2014) from The Met:

Goya and the Altamira Family
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 22 April — 3 August 2014

Curated by y Xavier F. Salomon


Goya, Manuel Osorio Manrique de Zuñiga, 1787–88
50 x 40 inches (NY: The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

By special arrangement with the Banco de España, from April 22 through August 3, The Metropolitan Museum of Art will reunite for the first time four portraits painted by Francisco de Goya (1746–1828) that were commissioned by the Count of Altamira, who was a director of the bank. Goya and the Altamira Family will consist of

• Banco de España’s Portrait of the Count of Altamira
• the Metropolitan’s beloved Manuel Osorio Manrique de Zuñiga, the so-called ‘Red Boy’
• the beautiful portrait of Manuel’s mother and sister, Condesa de Altamira and Her Daughter, María Agustina, from the Metropolitan Museum’s Robert Lehman Collection
• and a portrait of Manuel Osorio’s brother Vicente Joaquin de Toledo, from a private collection.

All four portraits were painted between 1786 and 1788 when Goya was beginning to experiment with aristocratic portraiture. A fifth portrait depicting Count Altamira’s middle son, Juan María Osorio, was painted around the same time by Agustín Esteve, one of Goya’s pupils, and will be lent by the Cleveland Museum of Art.

The Banco de San Carlos (the present-day Banco de España) commissioned Goya to create a series of portraits of the directors of the bank in Madrid, including the full-length depiction of Vicente Joaquín Osorio Moscoso y Guzmán, Count of Altamira. It was the success of this portrait that led to the subsequent commission to Goya for three portraits of members of the count’s family.

The exhibition is organized by Xavier F. Salomon, Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator, The Frick Collection, New York. The exhibition is made possible by the Placido Arango Fund. It was organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art with the assistance of the Consulate of Spain in New York.

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From the museum’s shop:

 Xavier F. Salomon, Goya and the Altamira Family, Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (Spring 2014), 48 pages, $15.

80024632_01_lEver since its arrival at the Metropolitan as part of the outstanding collection of Old Master paintings bequeathed by New York financier and philanthropist Jules Bache, Goya’s portrait of Don Manuel Osorio, the three- or four-year-old son of the conde de Altamira, has ranked as one of the museum’s most popular paintings. In celebration of the reinstallation of the Metropolitan’s European Paintings galleries, inaugurated last May, the condesa de Altamira and her son have been temporarily reunited in a gallery devoted to Goya and his contemporaries in Spain. But from the outset this move was planned as just the first stage of a more eventful family reunion that would also include Don Manuel’s older brother, Vicente Osorio, and their father, Vicente Joaquín Osorio de Moscoso y Guzmán, conde de Altamira: all four pictures outstanding works by Goya.

The publication is made possible through the generosity of the Lila Acheson Wallace Fund for The Metropolitan Museum of Art, established by the cofounder of Reader’s Digest.

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