Goya's "Colossus" painted by apprentice, Prado says

Tue Jan 27, 2009 7:15am EST
 
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MADRID (Reuters) - A painting long attributed to Spanish artist Francisco de Goya, "The Colossus," was probably the work of one of his apprentices, said Spain's Prado museum and art gallery in Madrid.

The painting, which shows a giant naked male figure towering over a landscape of people and animals, shows poorer technique than Goya's and bears a signature which may belong to one of his apprentices, Asensio Julia, the Prado's Manuela Mena said.

"When you look at it in the right light ... you can see the poverty of the technique, its use of light and color, and the great difference between 'The Colossus' and the masterpieces attributed to Goya," Mena, head of Goya restoration, said in a report published on the museum's website. (www.museodelprado.es)

The Prado has an extensive collection of pictures by Goya, who lived from 1746 to 1828 and whose work, radical for its time, is regarded by some critics as the first modern painting.

The Colossus has hung in the Prado since 1931 but doubts over its origins began to emerge in 1992, when it was cleaned to fully restore Goya's representation of light.

The composition is believed to have been painted in the early 19th century, when Spain was being ravaged by the Napoleonic Wars.

(Reporting by Raquel Castillo; writing by Jason Webb; Editing by Nick Vinocur)

 
<p>A handout picture shows "The Colossus", a famous painting long attributed to Spanish artist Francisco de Goya. The painting was probably the work of one of his apprentices, Spain's Prado museum said. The painting, which shows a giant male figure, muscular and naked, towering over a confused landscape of fleeing people and animals, shows poorer technique than Goya's and also bears a signature which may be that of one of his disciples, Asensio Julia, the Prado's Manuela Mena said. REUTERS/Museo Nacional del Prado/Handout</p>