barber institute of fine arts
university of birmingham

Spanish School

Portrait of an Old Woman

Spain, probably 1760s or 1770s

Oil on canvas

 105 x 85 cm


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)

Joan Miró (1893-1985)

Help Spain (Aidez L’Espagne)


Francisco de Goya (1746-1828)

There is Something Beneath the Sackcloth (So el sayal, hay al)


Francisco de Goya (1746-1828)

Don't Scream, Silly (No Grites, Tonta)


Francisco de Goya (1746-1828) after Diego Velázquez

The Dwarf El Primo