Francisco Goya suffered from ill health for the last half of his life, eventually going completely deaf and Self Portrait with Dr. Arrieta is of his carer.
During an episode of serious illness in 1819, he hired Dr. Arrieta to care for him, and he credited him with saving his life. Self Portrait with Dr. Arrieta was done as thanks for the doctor’s care one year later in 1820 – an inscription at the bottom of the canvas reads, “Goya, in gratitude to his friend Arrieta: for the compassion and care with which he saved his life during the acute and dangerous illness he suffered towards the end of the year 1819 in his seventy-third year.”
This was the last of many self-portraits that Francisco Goya completed during his lifetime.
Francisco Goya’s Self Portrait with Dr. Arrieta is located in the Minneapolis Institute of Art.