Experts at Spain's leading museum El Prado said on Thursday they suspected one of their prize exhibits — long attributed to Goya — was in fact painted by one of the Spanish master's assistants.
Manuela Mena, curator of 18th-century conservation and Goya's works at the Madrid museum, said new evidence had been uncovered by x-rays and other tests on "The Giant," considered an allegory of Spain at war.
"It is not a work which in our opinion fits in with Goya's technique, brushwork, symbology, his metaphors or poetry," Mena told a news conference.
Mena added that the discovery of the initials A.J. in the lower left of the painting led the museum to believe Asensio Julia, Goya's contemporary and assistant, was the real painter.
Research is still under way and conclusions are not expected for several months. But Mena said it would not undermine the painting's artistic merit.
"It's an attractive, captivating work, not an odd job," she said.