Charles IV of Spain and His Family

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Charles IV of Spain and His Family
Spanish: La familia de Carlos IV
La familia de Carlos IV.jpg
Artist Francisco Goya
Year 1800-1801
Medium Oil on canvas
Dimensions 280 cm × 336 cm (110 in × 132 in)
Location Museo del Prado, Madrid

Charles IV of Spain and His Family is an oil on canvas painting by the Spanish artist Francisco Goya who began work on this painting in 1800 and completed it in the summer of 1801. It features life sized depictions of Charles IV of Spain and his family, ostentatiously dressed in fine costume and jewelry, the painting was modeled after Velázquez's Las Meninas when setting the royal subjects in a naturalistic and plausible setting.[1]

The royal family is apparently paying a visit to the artist's studio, while Goya can be seen to the left looking outwards towards the viewer, as in "Las Meninas," the artist is shown working on a canvas, of which only the rear is visible; however, the atmospheric and warm perspective of the palace interior of Velázquez's work is replaced in the Goya by a sense of, in the words of Gassier, "imminent suffocation" as the royal family are presented by Goya on a "stage facing the public, while in the shadow of the wings the painter, with a grim smile, points and says: 'Look at them and judge for yourself!'"[2]


Goya - Charles IV of Spain and His Family (with numbers).jpg

The barely visible man in the background shadows at the left is Goya himself (2). Others are, left to right:



  • Buchholz, Elke Linda. Francisco de Goya. Cologne: Könemann, 1999. ISBN 3-8290-2930-6
  • Gassier, Pierre. Goya. Rizzoli International Publications, 1989. ISBN 0-8478-1108-5
  • Gassier, Pierre. Goya: Biographical and Critical Study. New York: Skira, 1995. 69–73
  • Davies, Denny, Hofrichter, Jacobs, Roberts, Simon. "Janson's History of Art." Prentice Hall, London, 2011. 824–825. ISBN 0-205-68517-X

External links[edit]

External video
smARThistory – Goya, The Family of Charles IV