650: Colossal revelation (Thursday 29 January 2009)

compiled by Ashley Mancill
Francisco de Goya: The Colossus; image held here
Francisco de Goya: The Colossus; image held here

One of Goya's most iconic works may not be by him. Experts at the Prado Museum in Madrid announced on Monday that Francisco de Goya’s painting The Colossus was not actually painted by the artist but by his assistant.
Using x-rays of the painting, experts were able to spot “significant differences” between it and other works by Goya, reports the Guardian. “Seen in the right light, the poverty of the technique, of its light and colour, along with the considerable difference between The Colossus and his other masterworks, become clear,” said Prado curator Manuela Mena.
Experts also discovered what they believe to be the initials “AJ” in the bottom left-hand corner of the work, suggesting Asensio Juliá, an assistant of Goya’s, may be the painting’s actual author.
A thorough investigation of the work began last year after some experts began voicing doubts over attributing the painting to Goya. The piece will remain on display but the wall text will be changed.
Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/27/goya-colossus-spain-prado