Portrait of an Old Woman
Spain, probably 1760s or 1770s
Oil on canvas
This work was bought as by the great Spanish painter Francisco de Goya (1746-1828) with the title A Portrait of the Artist’s Mother.
It was acquired along with two letters, dated 1776, supposedly written by Goya, which refer to a portrait of this subject. The portrait is certainly not by Goya, as the style of painting is inconsistent with his distinctive manner. It appears to be a genuine work from the later 18th century Spanish School, but so far no satisfactory alternative attribution has been suggested. The sitter also remains anonymous, although her piety is clear from her ornate brooch with its devotional image of Our Lady of Sorrows.
Purchased 1940 (No. 40.5)