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Presented on January 24, 1780 to decorate the antechamber of the Prince and Princess of Asturias at the Royal Palace of El Pardo, "...it shows 3 thirsty men who have come to drink from a fountain. One is drinking from the spout and the other 2 are sitting waiting for him to finish, surrounded by grass and scrubland that has grown thanks to the water from the fountain. It is as wide and tall as the previous one [The Washerwomen: just under 6 feet wide, and 9 feet and 3 fingers tall], and its value is 2,500 Spanish reals." ("...repres.ta tres hombres q.e fatigados de la sed bienen a beber a una fuente uno de ellos esta bebiendo en el caño, y los dos aguardan q.e acabe, donde ai barias Yerbas y matorrales q.e con la humedad de dicha fuente se an criado. Su ancho, y alto como el entezedente [Las lavanderas, 6 pies menos un dedo de ancho y nueve pies y tres dedos de alto] su balor dos mil y quinientos rr.s v.n". Francisco de Goya).

The Goya canvas was lost in the Royal Factory, possibly in the first few years of the 19th century. It was not among those later found by Spanish historian Cruzada Villaamil in the Royal Palace basements.

The tapestry kept at the Cathedral Museum is somewhat different to Goya's own description of the cartoon. The 2 people sitting and waiting their turn have disappeared, meaning the piece merits special consideration in comparison with the other surviving pieces.

Details

  • Title: The Fountain
  • Creator: Royal Tapestry Factory, from a Goya cartoon
  • Date: 1780
  • Location: Santiago de Compostela, Spain
  • Physical Dimensions: 310 x 76 cm
  • Type: Tapestry
  • Medium: Wool and silk

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