Museum PR Announcements News and Information

Museo del Prado Displays Goya’s The Victorious Hannibal

Through to an agreement with the Fundación Selgas-Fagalde in Asturias The Museo del Prado will be exhibiting Goya’s first documented painting for a period of six years

Francisco de Goya, The victorious Hannibal, 1771

The display of The victorious Hannibal at the Museo del Prado will offer visitors an exceptional opportunity to see one of the most important and impressive works from Goya’s early career. Painted in the spring of 1771, it falls within a period not previously represented in the Prado’s rich and remarkable collection of the artist’s works. Through an agreement reached between the Museum and the Fundación Selgas-Fagalde to promote and disseminate their respective collections and the artistic heritage that these institutions house, Goya’s work will be shown at the Prado alongside his Italian Notebook, a sketchbook that he acquired during his time in Italy (1769-71). Among numerous other drawings and annotations, it contains sketches for the composition of The victorious Hannibal and its principal figures, namely Hannibal and the bull’s head of the allegorical figure of the River Po, which the Carthaginian general crossed.

The victorious Hannibal is a work of clearly outstanding technical merit, evident in its harmonious composition, skilled treatment of light, and the deft, firm brushstrokes that model the figures through colour and light.

The painting was first presented as an undoubtedly autograph work by Goya in 1994, a year after it had been identified at the Prado and as part of one of the exhibitions organised to celebrate the Museum’s 175th anniversary. It now returns to the Prado for display in one of the Goya galleries for six years through the present agreement. In return, the Prado will carry out the technical study and restoration of five works in the Fundación Selgas-Fagalde collection and organise two exhibitions to be held at the Fundación in Cudillero (Asturias).

Francisco de Goya painted this canvas at the end of his two-year period in Italy in order to enter it in the competition organised by the Fine Arts Academy in Parma in 1771. This prestigious institution enjoyed the patronage of Duke Filippo di Borbone, nephew of Charles III of Spain. The painting, which was lost for many years following its presentation at the competition and possible return to Spain, was purchased in Madrid in the mid-nineteenth century by the archaeologist, historian and businessman Fortunato Selgas (1839-1921), who considered it to be Italian.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *