A rare Francisco De Goya find, currently on loan from the Frick Collection in New York.

Francisco De Goya is probably one of those painters you should have heard of.  He’s Spanish, the Painter for the Court of the Spanish King, Charles IV (though according to Wikipedia, Charles’s wife Louisa was the one who had the real power, thus she was placed at the center of one of his portraits of the royal family.

Somewhere between 1792 and 1793, De Goya started to go deaf for reasons that became unclear. This influenced his paintings. Though I personally struggled to figure out how, it turns out he became withdrawn and introspect as a result. (Again, hat tip to Wikipedia). It was during this time, he painted the Duke of Osuna.

The Duke, who I believe was the 10th Duke of Osuna (and a has a paragraph long name) was a rich guy, who wanted his picture painted by the last of the great Masters. No big surprise. What is a big surprise though, if you’re in Southern California, is that you get to see it at the Norton Simon Museum through March of next year, as it is on loan from the Frick Collection of New York.

Apparently, the Norton Simon and the Frick Collection have been swapping items from their permanent collections, so every once in a while something special comes our way. So here it is.

Don Pedro, Duque de Osuna, (c1790s)

Now, this is the picture of course. And it’s lovely to look at…here. But, the point of Art isn’t just to marvel at the image, bask in the detail, the style and the color. It’s also to stand in the presence of this living, breathing thing. To stand there, and look, knowing the the Artist was right where you are, and that you are looking at the exact thing he or she did.

So yeah, I’ve put up a picture of the painting, but it’s nothing compared to going there and seeing it yourself.

Also, don’t think you’re plopping down ten bucks just to see the one painting. The Norton Simon has been good enough to bring in a number of De Goya prints from the Frick, to keep the Duke company. There is also another De Goya hanging alongside, although it’s not clear to me if that’s from the Frick as well, or another member of the Norton Simon’s permanent collection.

Anyway, this is how Art works, especially removed from the comfy confines and established collections of the East Coast. If it comes out here, take a moment and go see it.


IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: Just go in knowing that the De Goya Prints are in one are, and the Duke all the way in another area. There is some signage telling you where to go, and it’s not like it’s a hike up the Andes or anything.


PARKING: Tremendous. The Norton Simon Museum has it’s own massive lot, and it’s free of charge. Just pull in and park. Perfect. It fills up decently fast, especially on the weekends, but there are several levels to the lot. I have yet to come by and not find a space. I suppose you can park along Colorado if you have to, but I don’t think you’ll have to.


The Norton Simon Museum
411 West Colorado Boulevard
Pasadena, CA 91105-1825

Monday: 12:00 noon – 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday-Sunday:12:00 noon – 6:00 p.m.

The Museum Store, Cafe and Gardens close 15 minutes prior to the Museum closing.
Admission Fees:
Adults: $10.00
Seniors (ages 62 and above): $7.00
Children (ages 18 and under): Free
Students with valid I.D.: Free
Museum Members: Free
Active Military Personnel with valid I.D.: Free
Acoustiguide Audio Tour: $3.00 per unit/Free for Members

Admission is free for all visitors the first Friday of every month from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Unless otherwise stated, events are free with admission and no reservations are required. Click here for a list of local museums’ free day schedule.