Art History, Artists

My new discovery: Rosario Weiss

Last week I went to an exhibition in the museum of the Biblioteca Nacional Española with drawings of Rosario Weiss. Until now she was completely unknown to me.

expo weiss
Dibujos de Rosario Weiss – Exhibition at Biblioeca Nacional de España

She was a Spanish painter and engraver, but she is best known for being the goddaughter of very famous Spanish painter Francisco de Goya with whom she lived in his final years because her mother, Leocadia Zorrilla, was his maid.

Allegory of Attention

When she was seven years old Goya began to give her drawing lessons and later when they’re living in Bordeaux she was the student of a local wallpaper designer. In 1827 she was placed under the tutelage of the son of Pierre Lacour. After Goya’s death, she and her mother returned to Spain. In Madrid she started as copyist in the Museo del Prado and in the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando. Also, she participated in some exhibitions at the Liceo Artístico.

Portrait of Velázquez

Her drawings are outstanding, most of them are portraits. She made portraits of her family, Goya and other important artists, some dated of her time as copyist in Museo del Prado.

Sadly, there is not much about her or her work.


  • In 1840, the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando named her Academician of Merit.
  • She worked as drawing tutor to the princesses of Spain.
  • Over 70 of her drawings is preserved at the Hispanic Society of America. Once they were attributed to Goya, but in 1956 José López-Rey demonstrated that they were by Weiss.



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