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Formal Analysis Of The 3rd Of May, 1808. Painted By Francesco Goya.

1322 words - 6 pages

The formal analysis of The 3rd of May, 1808, Francisco Goya, 1814, oil on canvas. In the following written composition I will examine The 3rd of May, 1808 in a context which will allow me to identify formal elements that Goya manipulated to influence the viewers with a specific outlining message. This work was completed in 1814 using oil on canvas medium. This piece of art stands at approximately 266 by 345cm. This was common for historical paintings to be substantially grander in size. Goya’s goal in this specific painting is to depict the sorrow and heartache connected with the Peninsular war. In this specific work The 3rd of May 1808 he highlights the honor of the massacred Spanish rebellions opposed to the savage French troops. This formal analysis will examine the important technique used by Goya to organize societies depiction of the visual information. Within this work I will concentrate on these elements of color, texture, shape, lines, space, and the value to bring about my own opinion of Goya’s work. Using this strategy applied to The 3rd of May, 1808 work I hope to demonstrate a comprehension how to translate what I see into written words.
When speaking about color we have to recognize that they’re categorized into “primary colors red, yellow and blue and also three secondary color are orange, green, and violet”1. As shown in Goya’s work yellow is used to highlight the Spaniards. The protagonist is shown wearing yellow as well as another man laying dead besides the doomed onlookers. Goya’s use of yellow as the primary color has an overwhelming influence to direct the viewers eyes. This is one of the first things I noticed when I began to examine the painting myself. Our eyes are drawn to these figures even more as they’ve been painted upon an unembellished backdrop not to disrupt our vision. The darkness of dawn, and the addition of the lantern used to illuminate the Spanish reiterates that they’re the significant subject of the work. This is used purposefully by Goya to enhance the Spanish as the innocent and mistreated. On the opposing side the French soldiers are depicted using complementary color violet. “Basic pairs are blue/orange, red/green and yellow and violet. When used together these colors intensify one another”2. This element of complementary colors allows Goya to help deepen and strengthen his works overall message. Certain shades of violet are used to paint the French in a way to deepen the separation between innocence and the disconnection of humanity during war.
Goya uses a variety of thick distinguishable brushstrokes in his work The 3rd of May, 1808. This is in direct relation to the early emergence of the Romantic era in opposition to earlier scholarly Neoclassicism styles. Goya demonstrates the power of bold and blurred lines in contrast with more crisp and detailed lines. You can see this method if you examine the work on the right half straight sharp lines are used on the French soldiers to give them no...

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