Leading British art historian Francisco de Goya questions the authenticity of dozens of paintings attributed to him. She argues that in fact it is not the work of the Spanish master, but the works of numerous apprentices who served the great artist.

Juliette Wilson-Baro, an art historian who specializes in the works of Goya, believes that the museums should reconsider their treasures, as they keep many “problematic” paintings. She told the Observer that auction houses and dealers regularly sell works under the name of Goya, although the scientist is convinced that made them less significant artists.

“This is a minefield, – said the expert. – Consciously or unknowingly paintings that are questioned, are still presented as works of Goya. Everyone wants their canvas to be his work”.

Art historian Juliette Wilson-Baro at the Goya exhibition in Agence (France). Photo: Studio Centella

Francisco de Goya, who lived from 1746 to 1828, is revered for his masterpiece, which includes a satirical series of engravings “Disasters of War”, which reveals the inhumane attitude of man to man.

Self-portrait Francisco Goya 1783, 86×60 cm
Self-portrait Francisco Goya 1783, 86×60 cm

Juliette Wilson-Baro, who lectured on Goya at Oxford University, supervised the artist’s major exhibitions at the Prado Museum in Madrid and the Royal Academy of Arts in London. She estimates that dozens of Goya paintings are in need of re-datributing – and this will take years of research. “We’ve known the problems for years, but the time has come for everyone to do their own analysis. Almost every museum that has a Goya has a problem Goya. They’re very common. Some later fakes are visible to the naked eye, but many have been made by apprentices in the studio,” the art historian stresses.

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