Autumn

In 1786, Goya was commissioned to design tapestries to decorate the dining room in Madrid’s El Pardo palace. The king specifically requested “pleasant, light-hearted subjects,” and this painting, a sketch for one of the tapestries, was presented for his approval. A child reaches for a bunch of grapes that a young man in a stylish yellow suit offers to a lady dressed in black. Behind them, a servant balances a basket of grapes on her head—she personifies Autumn, the season of plentiful harvests.

Francisco de Goya

Spanish, 1746–1828

Autumn

1786

Oil on canvas

13 3/8 x 9 9/16 in. (34 x 24.3 cm) Frame: 16 1/4 x 12 1/4 in. (41.3 x 31.1 cm)


Acquired by Sterling and Francine Clark, 1939

1955.749


ON VIEW

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Lees, Sarah, ed. Nineteenth-Century European Paintings at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Williamstown, MA: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute; New Haven and London: distributed by Yale University Press, 2012.

Tinterow, Gary and Geneviève Lacambre. Manet/Valázquez: The French Taste for Spanish Painting. Exhibition catalogue. New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art in association with Yale University Press, 2003.