The Family of the Infante Don Luis Francisco de Goya Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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The Family of the Infante Don Luis that was painted by Francisco do Goya between 1783 and 1784. It was one of his rare royal paintings which he did after getting an invite by Luis of Spain, the brother to Charles III.

In this particular occasion, Goya had been invited to the Arenas de San Pedro estate that was located near Avila for a family party. This is where Luis order a family portrait. Today, the portrait is privately held at Fondazione Magnani-Rocca at Parma. In this painting, Goya paints the king of Spain younger brother seated beside a card table but instead of looking at the cards or the green table, looks into spaces ahead. Seated a few feet across the table is his wife, whose hair is being attended to by her hairdresser.

The couple is surrounded by children at the back, servants facing them and friends. There are also artists and court musicians. One of the artists is Goya who seats at the left-hand corner of the painting. He seems focused on what is happening at the royal table. However, Luis daughter has taken an interest at him and looks at him in a half stare. Goya has managed to capture the expressive look of each person in the painting. Some are smiling; others have funny scowls, while others have contemplative stares. It is as if it was a paused scene in a movie. This helps the reader understand the mood that was there during the house party.

Don Luis had been chosen to follow a deeply religious life, which he rejected. He is said to have rejected celibacy and spent most of his time collecting art. At some point, he bought the services of prostitutes. As a result, the family forced him to marry against his will. He chose a woman that was 30 years younger. This caused him to be banished from Madrid, and his children denied the title Infante. Goya displays a royal family with a difference. One that has been shunned by the traditional Spanish community and leaves a secular middle-class life. While cut off from the rest of the world, the family seems united together. By putting himself in the image, Goya shows friendship to Luis. Goya went for Romanticism style when creating this masterpiece. This style was a kind of rebellion against the traditional systems and created images with much freedom. Their images also expressed emotions and thoughts using a combination of colour and facial expressions. All these characteristics are present in Goya's painting.

The Family of the Infante Don Luis in Detail Francisco de Goya