1777. Pen, Brown ink on verjured paper, 206 x 148 mm. Un exposed

Letter from Francisco de Goya to Martín Zapater (1746-1803), his childhood friend in Zaragoza, with information on the end of Zapater's stay in Madrid, sending notes to Friar Manuel Bayeu and announcement of the birth of Goya's third child.

In 2004 a set of twenty letters from Francisco de Goya (19 addressed to Martín Zapater and one to Joaquina Alduy, Zapater's aunt), acquired by the State in Madrid, entered the Prado Museum at public auction. This is completed in the Museum, depositary of Goya's largest and richest work in all its facets, that important correspondence of the artist, who from that year will almost entirely keep the Prado. Goya's correspondence with Zapater is essential to the artist's knowledge. Not only because of the many biographical issues that appear in it, dated between 1775 and 1799, the years of Goya's rise in the Court, until his appointment as First Chamber Painter, but for revealing with absolute truthfulness, without disguise or reservations, the character and personality of Goya. The value of the originals in the case of Goya is fundamental, since, unfortunately, some of the documents relating to his life and his work, published as old, cannot be located today, thus questioning the news that appears in them. These letters from Goya are from your hand. The special spelling of the artist, the graphic and visual form with which he expresses his ideas, as well as some that other illustrative drawing make them doubly important to determine his personal and unique way of using space, similar to that of his original paintings, etchings and drawings. They are undoubtedly a fundamental touchstone also for the knowledge and precision of Goya's art.

There is a group of early letters, including this letter dated January 22, 1777, which is currently the first preserved, since that of September 6, 1775, published since the 19th century partially, is lost or unknown. It coincides with the january 1777 with the time of Mengs' return to Italy, which so favored Goya in its early days, and when the artist was engaged in the preparation of the cartons for the tapestices of the dining room of the Princes of Asturias in the Palace of Pardo, with scenes as fundamental as The Sunplow, The Scold in the New Sale , Comet or Dance on the banks of the Manzanares. The most interesting news of the letter, for its relationship with painting and its procedures, is Goya's commentary on the request of his brother-in-law, Fray Manuel Bayeu, a painter and also a painter, to send him ideas for his own works.