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Portrait of a Woman (Portrait of the Artist Lola Jimenes)

Painting, 1813, 84×57 cm
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Description of the artwork «Portrait of a Woman (Portrait of the Artist Lola Jimenes)»

 “How many artworks by Goya are kept in Russia?” Our response could be: “One, two or three” The correct answer is three: the museum collections in Russia house three paintings by Goya; one is exhibited in the Hermitage and two of them are stored here. Two of these three paintings are women portraits, the Portrait of Actress Antonia Zarate is in St. Petersburg and the so called ‘Portrait of Lola Jimenez’ is in Moscow.

All these paintings have been kept in Russia for approximately short time. The portrait housed at the Hermitage was moved to the Museum from a private collection in 1971; the Portrait of Lola Jimenez survived in a secret fund of the Pushkin Museum and was exhibited and enlisted in the Museum catalogue only in 1995, after the exhibition “Saved Twice… The artworks of European painting of XIV-XIX centuries moved from Germany to the territory of the former Soviet Union as the result of the World War II.”

This contradictory exhibition to some extent legalized several artworks as trophy pieces of art, officially allowing their exposition at the Pushkin Museum. You cannot find any information about the previous owners of the artworks on their labels, as usually they read “from an unknown collection”. Their contentious ownership often prevents art experts to gain access to the documents, so the dates and names of the paintings can be inaccurate.

That was the case with this portrait of a woman called ‘Portrait of the Artist Lola Jimenes’, though we do not possess any information proving her personality. However, we have no doubt that the young dark-eyed lady in a red shawl was a creative person. This is also confirmed by a fancy feather or a massive pencil in her right hand, a piece of paper with a sketch, probably her self-portrait (looking closer, you can recognize the peculiar contour of her face and the same headdress with stragglers). On a slightly torn sheet of paper under the sketch we can see the signature kindly written by the artist. Even without the signature, Goya’s late style reveals the artist not only with the soft glow of the skin, free and sweeping brushstrokes of the background, and the energy put into the plain but expressive face of the woman. One can also trace the unique weaknesses that are specific to Goya, like rather clumsy drawn hand holding a pencil, as Goya was not so good at the complicated angles when depicting hands.

Author: Oksana Sanzharova
from 1450 rub
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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Portrait

Style of art: Romanticism

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1813

Size: 84×57 cm

Artwork in selections: 6 selections

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