White Duchess, Black Duchess

Goya - The White Duchess

There is always deep drama to Goya’s work, even his beautiful portraits, which I like the most of all his work. I love the dark psychology behind the paintings and also the rich Catholic colours of the dresses and costumes. The two portraits of the Duchess of Alba - The White Duchess and The Black Duchess – have fascinated me for years and have had a powerful influence on my designs. The White Duchess, all proud and haughty and kind of blank, was painted before her husband died, where upon he painted the deeper, darker Black Duchess. The startling shout of the red satin ribbons and trimmings of the White Duchess is very powerful especially as it is echoed with a little ribbon on the hind leg of her dog! I love these paintings and a copy of each hangs in my studio space. Love, Susie

Goya - The Black Duchess