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  • Description

    For having Jewish ancestry; figures wearing tall pointed hats emerging from an arched entrance, the foremost standing in-line between two figures. c.1808-14 Brush drawing in brown ink and wash

  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1808-1814
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 205 millimetres
    • Width: 142 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Inscribed: 'Pr linage de ebreos' (For being of Jewish ancestry) and numbered: '88'.

        The original number read '78' that Goya changed to'88'.
  • Curator's comments

    Modified text from McDonald 2013

    The order in which Goya produced his albums of drawings has been the subject of much discussion. Working on several projects at the same time, he turned his attention to diverse topics and themes. Two albums that illustrate this point are roughly contiguous to the Disasters of War etchings (c.1810-15): the Inquisition Album (C) and the Images of Spain Album. This drawing is from the Inquisition Album that is dated from the outbreak of outbreak of the war in 1808 to the years of the Liberal Triennial (1820-23). It is the largest of Goya’s albums that originally comprised 133 loose sheets.

    The majority of drawings from the Inquisition Album are in the Museo del Prado. They are executed in brush and ink, on subjects similar to the Disasters of War: fate and destiny, human misery, visions, anti-clericalism, victims of the Inquisition and the restitution of liberty. Many have captions that indicate their subject. For example this drawing numbered 88 is one of a large group addressing the Inquisition and judicial abuse, in which Goya concentrates on the condition of individuals to express his sympathies. Condemned figures in penitential garments (sanbenito and corozas) emerge from a prison and file between a priest seen from behind and an officer of the Inquisition. The tragedy of the scene is underscored by the first figure clasping his hands in anguish, his head hung in shame. Through this drawing Goya asks the question, why are they there, and his inscription provides the answer 'for being Jewish'. The drawing stands apart from others in the group because it shows a group of figures whereas other sheets depict individuals alone in their suffering. However the presence of persecutors serves to heighten their loneliness, powerfully expressing their shared fate.

    Goya might have been encouraged to make the Inquisition drawings in response to two publications attacking its history and practices by Juan Antonio Llorente, who had been Secretary to the Inquisition in Madrid from 1789–91. Towards the end of the album a number of drawings celebrate the restoration of the Constitution and liberty to Spain, emphasized by their titles: Divina Libertad, Dure la alegria and LUX EX TENEBRIS (Light from Darkness) (Gassier 1973, nos 259: C.115, 260: C.116, 261: C.117).

    The British Museum drawing is one of a group to do with prisoners and torture victims of the Inquisition. It stands apart from that group because it depicts a group of figures - the others depict one sufferer. A procession of men all wearing the sanbenito and corazo (paper tunic and tall hat of those condemned) are flanked by monks. Goya asks the question, why are they there, and his inscription povides the answer 'for being Jewish'.

    P. Gassier and J. Wilson, 'Goya: His Life and Work with a Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings, Drawings and Engravings', London 1971, no.1324; P. Gassier, 'The Drawings of Goya, I: The Complete Albums', London 1973, no.233 C.88; J. Wilson-Bareau, 'Goya: Drawings from his Private Albums', exh. cat., Hayward Gallery, London 2001, no.45; M. P. McDonald, 'Renaissance to Goya: Prints and drawings from Spain', exh.cat., British Museum, London 2012, p.235; M. P. McDonald, 'El trazo español en el British Museum: Dibujos del Renacimiento a Goya', exh. cat., Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid 2013, cat.no.62.


  • Bibliography

    • Gassier 233 bibliographic details
    • McDonald 2013 62 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Spanish Roy XVIIIc

  • Exhibition history

    1972 BM, 'The Art of Drawing', no. 289 1976 BM, 'Spanish Drawings' 1981 Jan-Mar, Stadel Institute,Frankfurt, 'Goya', no. L62 1980 Oct-Dec, Hamburger Kunsthalle, 'Goya', no. 136 1984 BM, 'Master Drawings and Watercolours in the British Museum', no. 152 1988 Sep-Dec, Prado, 'Goya', no. 99 1990 Apr-Aug, BM, 'Treasures of P&D' 2000 Feb-May, Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen, 'Goya's Realism', no.36 2001 Feb-May, Hayward Gallery, London, "Goya's Drawings..."
    2012/13 Sept-Jan, London, British Museum, ‘Renaissance to Goya: Prints and Drawings from Spain’
    2013 March-June, Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, ‘El trazo español en el British Museum …’
    2013, Aug-Dec, Sydney, AGNSW, 'Renaissance to Goya'
    2013-4, Dec-Mar, Santa Fe, New Mexico Museum of Modern Art, 'Renaissance to Goya'

    This drawing cannot be lent for exhibition until 2020.

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    5 October 2000

    Reason for treatment


    Treatment proposal

    Remove from mount for viewing of verso. Inlay. Mount. Stamp. H.Chapman


    Adhered to mount with Perspex recto. Guarded to back board and mount adhered shut. Whenb removed from mount revealed previously skinned areas.

    Treatment details

    Removed from mount by cutting guards and removed debris using poultice of Culminal (nonionic cellulose ether) and scraping with a scalpel. Supported skinned areas with Abra starch (wheat starch) and Japanese paper. Inlaid using Japanese paper strips and Culminal (nonionic cellulose ether) adhesive.

    About these records 

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number


For being of Jewish ancestry (victims of the Inquisition going to the Auto de Fe); figures wearing tall pointed hats emerging from an arched entrance, the foremost standing in-line between two figures. 1814-24 Brush drawing in grey ink and wash

For being of Jewish ancestry (victims of the Inquisition going to the Auto de Fe); figures wearing tall pointed hats emerging from an arched entrance, the foremost standing in-line between two figures. 1814-24 Brush drawing in grey ink and wash

Image description



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