Thursday, May 03, 2007

Goya: The Third of May 1808


I love Madrid and many things Spanish, including the work of Francisco Goya (1746-1828). Goya's visual art grabs at the viewer -- it's spooky, even nightmarish at times. So far as I know, few paintings can rival his Black Paintings in the terrifying department (Saturn Devouring his Son, for example).

One can find Goya's masterful The 3rd of May 1808 in Madrid: The Executions of Príncipe Pío Hill / (alt.) The Third of May 1808: The Execution of the Defenders of Madrid (1814) at the Prado. Though intended to support the Spanish cause against Napoleonic France, the painting clearly transcends its original context. To me it's a universal jeremiad against cruelty, brutality, violence.

Today's Rune: Joy.

Birthdays: Niccolò Machiavelli, Tadeusz Peiper, Dodie Smith, Mary Astor (b. Lucile Vasconcellos Langhanke), William Inge, Pete Seeger, John Lewis (Modern Jazz Quartet), Sugar Ray Robinson (b. Walker Smith, Jr.), James Brown, Tatiana Tolstaya, Michelle Brooks.

Ciao!

12 comments:

Danny Tagalog said...

Machiavelli's b'day - just re-purchased The Prince by chance...

Sheila said...

cinco de mayo is approaching fast! haha

Johnny Yen said...

We were just studying Goya (and other artists) in my Spanish class-- I was thinking of that particular painting to show my students, but couldn't remember the name.

Andrey Voznesensky said...

I am Goya
of the bare field, by the enemy’s beak gouged
till the craters of my eyes gape
I am grief

I am the tongue
of war, the embers of cities
on the snows of the year 1941
I am hunger

I am the gullet
of a woman hanged whose body like a bell
tolled over a blank square
I am Goya

O grapes of wrath!
I have hurled westward
the ashes of the uninvited guest!
and hammered stars into the unforgetting sky - like nails
I am Goya

(translated from the Russian by Stanley Kunitz via S.A. Bill)

Charles Gramlich said...

this is a great painting. I remember being struck by its power in college. Goya was well able to capture a thread of madness in most of his work.

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