Francisco Goya’s paintings (1746-1820) in the Certosa Aula Dei constituted a cycle of 11 elements made, in 1774, in oil on the walls of the monastery, near Zaragoza (Carretera de Peñaflor).
Seven survived, some of which were restored, four were replaced at the beginning of the last century with paintings by the French brothers Amedee and Paul Buffet.
Goya was able to perform these works thanks to his brother-in-law Manuel Bayeu, who was one of the Carthusians of the Aula Dei. In them, the mastery of the young Goya at just 28 years old is evident.
The wall decoration is divided into large unit compositions, separated along all the internal walls of the church. It is dedicated to the history of the Virgin Mary in relation to the childhood of Christ. The sequence of scenes is in a special arrangement: the entrance wall is dedicated to the presentation of Saint Joachin and Saint Ann and, from here, the next story takes place on the walls on both sides, so that to follow the development of the events narrated pictorially, it is necessary to alternately contemplate the scenes looking left and right as you advance along the nave towards the altar. These paintings suffered greatly when the Order was forced to abandon the Charterhouse, following the confiscation of the unproductive ecclesiastical properties prescribed by Juan Alvarez Mendizábal, in 1836. Those on the left wall were almost completely lost, except for those corresponding to the transept, and all were quite damaged. For this reason, when contemplating the preserved paintings, it is evident that some areas were repainted at the beginning of the century by the Buffet brothers, who also completely recreated the murals that had not been saved.