Goya route in Aragón
Nuestra Señora del Pilar Basilica. Zaragoza
The House of Goya’s Birth and the Museum of Etchings. Fuendetodos
Islamic fortified site. Calatayud
The universal paintbrush of Francisco de Goya
Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, one of the greatest names in the history of painting, was born in a small village in Aragon called Fuendetodos. Although his long career took him to various different countries, he left numerous examples of his artistic talent in his own homeland. From Zaragoza to Fuendetodos; from Calatayud to Huesca. Following in Goya's footsteps makes an excellent excuse for visiting the region.
This route has its hub in the city of Zaragoza, and can be done in a weekend. From this point there are three excursions which follow the trail of the Aragonese artist. Francisco de Goya spent his apprenticeship as a painter in Zaragoza where he carried out various commissions, several of which can still be seen.
He first worked for the Basilica of El Pilar, where he decorated the vault of the Coreto chapel with a fresco entitled "Adoration of the Name of God" (1772), and the dome and pendentives with a Regyna Martirum (Queen of martyrs) painted between 1780 and 1781 in the church's northern nave. We then visit the church of San Fernando, where Goya painted three works for the altar. The Episcopal palace is still home to a portrait of the Archbishop Joaquín Company dating from 1800.
The final traces of the Aragonese painter's presence in the capital of Aragon can be seen in the Zaragoza Museum, which contains a permanent collection of his work, and in the Camón Aznar Ibercaja Museum (MICAZ), where there is a room dedicated to his graphic work.
The first of the excursions in search of Goya's footsteps takes us along the A-23 dual carriageway until the village of Muel (27 kilometres away). The shrine of Nuestra Señora de la Fuente contains a wonderful series of frescoes depicting the Church Fathers painted by the artist for the pendentives of the dome.
This is a land of vineyards in the wine-producing region of Cariñena. From Muel we head towards Villanueva de Huerva (16 kilometres) and continue on to Fuendetodos, about 6 kilometres away.
Fuendetodos pays homage to its most famous son with Goya's birthplace house and with the Goya Engraving Museum , which features a permanent display of a selection of graphic works by the artist: series of engravings of Los Caprichos, Los Desastres de la Guerra, La Tauromaquia and Los Disparates.
We continue on for 40 kilometres until we reach La Almunia de Doña Godina. Then we take the A-2 dual carriageway towards Calatayud, located at a distance of 25 kilometres. In the church of San Juan el Real, the young Goya (he was then 20 years old) painted the four pendentives of the dome.
Back once again in Zaragoza, the second excursion follows the banks of the Ebro river towards Alagón (25 kilometres away), and from there to Remolinos (9 kilometres) and Pedrola (11 kilometres). In the convent of San Antonio of the Jesuits in Alagón, Goya painted the frescoes for the dome above the main stairway in 1771. In Remolinos, he was responsible for the four pendentives of the dome in the parish church. And the Palace of the Dukes of Villahermosa in Pedrola contains several works by the painter.
The third and last route has two main destinations. The first is the Carthusian monastery of Aula Dei, located 11 kilometres outside Zaragoza in the Gállego river valley. There, in 1774, Goya painted the 11 murals in the church, of which seven still survive.
Finally we take the A-23 dual carriageway until we reach the city of Huesca (72 kilometres). Its Provincial Museum contains several prints and engravings by Goya, including a particularly interesting series of lithographs entitled Bulls in Bordeaux.