by Marguerite Bouvard

Goya’s Portrait

Maria Antonia Gonzaga,
the Marchioness of Villafranca, steps
out of the frame and enters

our space, engaging us with her presence
because she has so much
to tell us about life; the importance

of reflection on what is taking place
around us, her experience
of the dark moments

in her time, and the search
for meaning. She lost her son
the Duke of Alba, and although surrounded

by people of standing, she lives
alone with her memories and her deep
thoughts. What she acquired

over the years are neither her high position,
which spares no one, nor the jewels
and silks that adorn her,

but the importance of understanding,
how to carry the weight
of the world with grace.

Image: Photo by Skitterphoto via Pexels


Editor’s note: Painting (left) of Maria Antonia Gonzaga by Spanish painter Francisco de Goya hangs in a collection at Museo Nacional del Prado In Madrid, Spain. Read more about her and the painter at the museum site.