(sometimes spelled Leocardia) Weiss lived with
Goya the last years of his life. She was hired as a
housekeeper, bringing with her daughter Rosario. Goya
taught Rosario painting and drawing skills, and she
later had a career as a painter in France and Spain.
Goya's will instructed that at his death she was to
be treated as a "natural child." This has
led to speculation that Goya fathered Rosario as he
had known Leocadio for several years prior to hiring
her. However, many Goya biographers say that the dating
does not match up, that it is more likely that Leocadia's
husband, whom she had divorced years earlier, was Rosario's
painting of Leocadia is one of the fourteen "Black Paintings"
executed by Goya upon the walls of his house in Madrid.
X-ray investigations of the image show that originally
the figure leaned upon a fireplace mantle, and that
she was not dressed in mourning clothing, as shown here.
usual speculation is that Goya himself added the funeral
aspects later, when mood, or old age, had moved him
to give a different message to the image. It is also
suggested that some other hand added the mourning aspects
after Goya's death - - perhaps Rosario? But it seems
unlikely she would have had entrance to Goya's former
home, which had been given to Goya's grandson Mariano,
since Goya's son Xavier and Rosario's mother Leocadia
did not have a friendly relationship following Goya's
death in Bourdeaux.