The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Monday, June 18, 2018

Global 4-year research project reveals major discoveries in Goya masterpiece "La Aguadora"
Part of a private collection in Japan, for the four decades La Aguadora had been kept in a Tokyo warehouse.

NEW YORK, NY.- A groundbreaking, four-year global research effort has resulted in major discoveries regarding Francisco de Goya’s renowned painting, La Aguadora (c. 1808), which has been in a private collection in Japan and out of public view for 40 years. The research, which included a an insightful examination of the painting’s iconography; an historical study of primary sources in Spain; a comprehensive investigation of the painting’s provenance; and state-of-the-art scientific analysis, proves for the first time that the model for the famed painting is Maria Agustin, a popular heroine in Spain at the time of the Napoleonic invasion. In addition, convincing circumstantial evidence shows that Goya likely painted the masterpiece while traveling in Spain to document the Napoleonic invasion. The research also provides insight into Goya’s political views and the powerful political meaning of the painting, which the painter suppressed in his own lifetime.

Part of a private collection in Japan, for the four decades La Aguadora had been kept in a Tokyo warehouse. The painting, which Goya kept until his death, was purchased with other fine art in 1974 by a group of prominent Japanese businessmen – led by Ichiro Tsuboi – who were instrumental in revitalizing the Japanese economy after World War II.

In the years after the masterpiece was stored, it became something of mystery. Kazutaka Tsuboi, the son of Ichiro Tsuboi who inherited the painting, launched a research project to learn more about the origins of La Aguadora in Japan. Mr. Tsuboi directed a worldwide team of experts, including his business partner Yuriko Reyes, art consultant Stefan Horsthemke from the premier art consulting firm Artbridge, located in Cologne, Germany, and Japanese art expert Kyoko Kazuse, to conduct a comprehensive review of the painting. The results were unexpected and very important in the world of Goya studies.

“Our global research effort has deepened our understanding of La Aguadora, and also of the Spanish master, Goya,” said Ms. Reyes. “It has given La Aguadora a true rebirth and restored the painting to its rightful place as a major work of art that embodies the human spirit’s strength to overcome tyranny and oppression, the universal struggle for human rights and freedom that rings true today.”

Stefan Horsthemke of Artbridge assembled a team of leading organizations for the research work. Fine Arts Experts Institute (FAEI), Geneva, conducted a thorough technological examination of the painting’s pigments. The Cologne Institute for Conservation Sciences (CICS) and FAEI undertook a detailed analysis of the painting process and canvas.

“This extensive research project reads like a detective story and includes efforts from teams all over the world – in Paris, London, Madrid, Zaragoza, Cologne, Tokyo and New York,” said Mr. Horsthemke. “This journey has led to major iconographic and historical findings that greatly deepen our understanding of La Aguadora, the artist’s choice of his model, and demonstrate how Francisco de Goya used his art not only to document current events, in this case the horrors of wartime Zaragoza during the Napoleonic War, but also to elevate the imagery to mythic levels.”

The pioneering historical research has for the first time identified the woman in La Aguadora. The research proves that the model for the woman in the Goya masterpiece is an actual individual, Maria Agustin, who was a popular heroine in Spain at the time of the Napoleonic invasion. However, when Goya painted La Aguadora, he idealized the image of Maria Agustin and transformed her into an archetype of the kind of women who supported the Spanish troops on the battlefield during the war with the French.

The new research into La Aguadora also shows that the woman painted by Goya is carrying brandy, not water, as was previously thought for generations. Maria Agustin carried brandy to the Spanish troops on the battlefields, was depicted by other artists and writers, and was well known to the Spanish public. During the period, Maria Agustin embodied the Spanish resistance to French oppression.

It has been established that in 1808, Goya, by this time deaf, traveled to Zaragoza to gather firsthand information about the Spanish resistance to the French invasion. Researchers believe there is strong circumstantial evidence to conclude that the artist created La Aguadora, which was painted very quickly and boldly, while traveling in Spain. The artist produced numerous paintings and sketches during his trip, some of which were destroyed by French soldiers and supporters, and others which he over-painted to protect them because of their anti-French and pro-Spanish content. From the time of this trip to Zaragoza and because of the French victory over the Spanish, Goya purposely never acknowledged the underlying political message or context of La Aguadora, in particular because he served a French court painter. As a result, the painting’s message has been misunderstood for generations.

Today's News

February 11, 2016

Lucian Freud's "Pregnant Girl" sets record for an early painting by the artist

Rarely seen photographs of the Beatles and Jude Law go on display at National Portrait Gallery

Top art collection to be shown outside Russia for first time; Opens this October at Foundation Louis Vuitton

Global 4-year research project reveals major discoveries in Goya masterpiece "La Aguadora"

San Francisco Bay Area teacher and sculptor Marvin Lipofsky dies at the age of 77

The Museum of Modern Art launches the Free Online Course Seeing Through Photographs

Samsung and the V&A launch new mobile digital classroom to boost digital skills in the arts

Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain opens retrospective of the work of Fernell Franco

Chemould Prescott Road in Mumbai opens an exhibition of new works by Jitish Kallat

Museum makes public centuries of secret glassmaking techniques through new online resource

Extraordinary private collection of 16th-century works on view for the first time to the public

Jorge Welsh to display an exceptional Chinese porcelain pagoda at TEFAF Maastricht 2016

The Contemporary Jewish Museum celebrates the influential career of Roman Vishniac

Jan Fabre's first United Kingdom solo exhibition opens at Ronchini Gallery

Museum of Contemporary Art announces two-year national tour of its Being Tiwi exhibit

Art Sheffield announces first details of 2016 festival programme: Up, Down, Top, Bottom, Strange and Charm

Exhibition of new work by Suzanne Treister opens at P.P.O.W

The Chelsea Art Fair to be held at the Chelsea Old Town Hall April 21-24

"Fault Lines: Shifting Perspectives on Landscape in American Art" opens at Gerald Peters Gallery

The New Museum presents "Cheryl Donegan: Scenes + Commercials"

Berry Campbell Gallery opens exhibition of works by Charlotte Park

First solo exhibition in the Netherlands by Saskia Noor van Imhoff on view at de Appel arts centre

Refined and elegant works of art in major collaborative exhibition by the Japanese Art Dealers Association

Illuminations I: Exhibition of works by Hugo Bastidas on view at Nohra Haime Gallery

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Porsche Super Speedster offered for first time in 50 years at RM Sotheby's Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction

2.- Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens opens 'Storytelling: French Art from the Horvitz Collection'

3.- Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti stars Vincent Cassel as the famed French artist

4.- Stunning colored diamonds expected to dazzle at Heritage Auctions' Summer Fine Jewelry Auction

5.- US designer Kate Spade found dead at 55

6.- Vincent Van Gogh painting sells for over 7 million euros: Artcurial auction house

7.- Sir Stanley Spencer painting discovered hidden under a bed during a drugs raid

8.- Oxford's Bodleian Libraries unveil UK's first major Tolkien exhibition in decades

9.- Major exhibition at the Guggenheim explores decades of work by Alberto Giacometti

10.- World's largest freshwater pearl goes for 320,000 euros

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful