Analysis Of Francisco Goya's The Third Of May 1808
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Art Hum, Spring ’14
Visual Analysis #5 Date: 03/31/2014
Francisco Goya, The Third of May 1808, 1815, oil on canvas
Francisco Goya’s The Third of May 1808 introduces the highly emotional style of Romanticism (French Revolution) and illustrates the themes of violent punishment, death, and the senseless brutality of war. Goya has made an image of actual historical events, but enhanced them for maximum dramatic effect. In the painting, the figures to the left of the composition demand the viewer’s attention more than the figures to the right. While the faceless French soldiers on the opposite side are rendered almost inhuman, the ill-fated Spanish “rebels” elicit both sympathy for their suffering and respect for their sacrifice.
Goya’s portrayal of the French soldiers as faceless shooters in a sharp, linear formation stretches diagonally from the front center to the right background. We see a row of hooded French soldiers aiming their guns at a Spanish man, who stretches out his arms in submission both to the brutality of the soldiers and to h...