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Francisco de Goya, A Picnic

Key facts
Full title A Picnic
Artist Francisco de Goya
Artist dates 1746 - 1828
Date made 1785-90
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 41.3 × 25.8 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1896
Inventory number NG1471
Location Room 40
Collection Main Collection
A Picnic
Francisco de Goya

Goya adds a satirical twist to this supposedly innocent scene. It seems that a romantic outing has gone terribly wrong. The remains of a picnic lie on the tablecloth: pieces of bread, two almost-empty plates and bottles of wine. To the right, a man appears to be unwell, probably from drinking too much.

In the centre, a man holding a full glass of wine tries to flirt with the woman sat near him. She – presumably the sick man’s picnic companion – looks out at us, seemingly rejecting his advances. Another man leans on his hand, fast asleep. Behind him, three men are deep in conversation, as if plotting to take advantage of the situation – two look out at us, amused.

This sketch is one of a series of designs by Goya for tapestries intended to decorate the bedrooms of King Charles III of Spain’s daughters at the palace of El Pardo, outside Madrid.

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