Goya discovery sparks dispute between French museums

Last week brought good news for the Musée Bonnat in the town of Bayonne, Southwest France, when the Restoration Service of the Museums of France confirmed that a painting within their collection, Self-Portrait with Spectacles, is an authentic work by Francisco de Goya.  Meanwhile Musée Goya, in the neighbouring town of Castres, had to face the fact that their version of the same painting is now believed to be an autograph copy.

Speaking on France 3, a curator from the Musée Bonnat said: “The analysis allowed us to prove that the Castres painting, which has long passed for an original, is in fact a copy based on the Bayonne painting, which is authentic”.

However the chief curator of the Musée Goya believes that their version has a greater significance than that.  “Not at all, it’s a ‘response,'” he retorted. “The self-portrait in Bayonne is the preparatory painting, there are many preparatory paintings, for the major painting that is in Madrid, Charles IV of Spain and His Family“.

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