Manuel Osorio Manrique de Zuñiga (1784–1792), detail
Goya (Francisco de Goya y Lucientes) (Spanish, 1746–1828 )
Oil on canvas
© The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The sitter is the son of the Count and Countess of Altamira. Outfitted in a red costume, he is shown playing with a pet magpie (which holds the painter’s calling card in its beak), a cage full of finches, and three wide-eyed cats. In Christian art birds frequently symbolize the soul, and in Baroque art caged birds are symbolic of innocence. Goya may have intended this portrait as an illustration of the frail boundaries that separate the child’s world from the forces of evil or as a commentary on the fleeting nature of innocence and youth.
The picture may have been executed after the child’s death in 1792, since the imagery and sinister undertone seem more characteristic of Goya’s works of the 1790s.#Goya #detail