Fight at the Venta Nueba, Goya

Fight at the Venta Nueba, Goya
Fight at the Venta Nueba, Goya

For art fans and especially for experts in the field, it is very entertaining as well as educational, the comparison between the final canvases with their preparatory drawings, however, it is not always easy to find the sketch that served as preparation for a canvas since on many occasions the artists themselves eliminated these drawings or some even painted directly on the canvases without carrying out any preparation.


Fortunately for us, one of the greatest geniuses of neoclassical painting and precursor of modernism, Francisco de Goya not only preserved one but many of his preparatory sketches, so that it is very easy for us to trace the origins of some of his canvases and establish a comparison with the final work.

Francis de Goya y Lucientes (1746- 1828) is one of the great geniuses of Spanish painting, his fame crossed borders and meant a change in the pictorial conception of all of Europe. But in addition to reaping numerous successes in painting, Goya worked with other disciplines with the same success so that his engravings, lithographs, woodcuts or murals are just as well known and valued as his canvases. In this context we should point out how the artist also worked for theRoyal Tapestry Factoryin the last years of the 18th century, after his arrival in the Spanish capital

The work that we analyze here Riña en la Venta Nueba(thus written literally by the hand of the artist himself when the spelling rules were not yet well established) is precisely a cardboard for a tapestry, that is to say, a work on canvas that would serve as a script to weave a tapestry in the Royal Tapestry Factory with in order to adorn the Palacio del Pardo along with other well-known works by artists such as El Quitasol or El bebedor, all of them a reflection of the Spanish society of the time.


But perhaps the most interesting thing about the canvas we are analyzing here is that in the same Prado Museum in Madrid where this piece is exhibited, we can also find the preparatory drawing that gave rise to to its creation and that is known by the name of Riña en la Venta del Gallo.

The differences between the two canvases are insignificant and both represent a fight or discussion that took place in an inn on the outskirts of Madrid, specifically it seems that we are in the northern area, since in the background the peaks of the Sierra de Guadarrama can be seen, although the artist has not represented it with too much accuracy. In the first place, some young people -who seem to come from different provinces due to their outfits- argue heatedly until they come to blows. The cards that appear on the ground indicate that the fight must come due to some disagreement in the game.

In the final work, the bright colors of the canvas stand out above all, as well as the small and rapid brushstrokes that prelude the modernist style of the workgoyesca.

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