• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Third of May, 1808:The Execution of the Defenders of Madrid - Goya.

Extracts from this document...


Claire Wilson The Third of May, 1808:The Execution of the Defenders of Madrid - Goya 1814, Oil on canvas, 266 x 345 cm. Museo del Prado, Madrid In this painting by Goya (1746 - 1828) he is very much fulfilling his role as the defender of the Spanish people in their fight against oppression. This painting and another entitled "The Second of May 1808: The Charge of the Mamelukes" painted at the same time show Goya representing one of the 'most notable and heroic actions...of our glorious insurrection against the tyrant of Europe'. It is a dramatic execution scene showing the savage punishment dealt out by the Napoleonic forces in reply to the uprising of the people of Madrid on the 3rd of May. It is reputed that Goya actually witnessed these executions on the hill of Principe Pio from the window of his own home and, deeply angered by what had occurred, went to the site straight away and made sketches of the corpses by the light of a lantern. ...read more.


As shown in this work and in others, he often painted haunting satires depicting the flaws of humanity. In Goya's "2nd and 3rd of May" paintings he painted war and it's consequences with an amount of realism never before witnessed and with this paintings ability to depict the horror of the events Goya became one of the pioneers of the expressionist movement. It is because of this and his other revolutionary works that he earned the title of the first modernist, however this is somewhat limiting as Goya was a painter of great mystery and suspense. The tragic importance of the events depicted in the painting are highlighted because they are set against a dark, barren hill beneath a heavy night sky. A huge lantern on the ground, in-between the executioners and their victims, provides the only light source. This lantern casts an eerie light across the faces of the heroic victims, highlighting their tortured expressions. It also accentuates the vivid brightness of the white shirt worn by a kneeling figure with arms outstretched in courageous defeat. ...read more.


It is a symbol of the defence of liberty by the Spanish people and so a work of immense importance both at the time it was painted and in present circumstances. This painting and its counterpart "The 2nd of May" were painted in 1814 after the re-establishment of the Spanish throne, to 'celebrate the heroism of the people of Madrid'. At the time Goya was under investigation with regards to his behaviour during the French Occupation, namely on account of his controversial 'Mayas'(fashionable young women.) However Goya offered to paint the 2nd and 3rd of May paintings and so was retained as first painter to the new court. These paintings are therefore commissions of the Regency Council governing Spain. After Goya's completion of the two paintings they were put on the Arch of Triumph that was built in honour of King Ferdinand VII's return to Madrid. This painting was, and still is, looked upon as Spain's greatest symbol of independence. Currently it is on display in the same hall as its counterpart in the Museo del Prado in Madrid and serves as one of the most powerful and harrowing anti-war statements made by an artist. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Art section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Art essays

  1. Theresa Gill Paintings

    And we know besides that the figure on the cross is closely derived from a Crucifixion in the church of Tremalo not far from Pont-Aven. The artist has gone beyond naturalistic observation to emotional expression. "The Impressionists, "he wrote later in his Intimate Journals, "study color exclusively, but without freedom, always shackled by the need of likelihood.

  2. Paris sous la Pluie.

    Paris, A Rainy Day exemplifies and touches on many issues related to the impressionist movement and its historical context therein. The painting was after all produced by one of the most important financiers of the impressionists, and was displayed in 1877 impressionist exhibit which was sponsored by Caillebotte himself.

  1. How did the fashions of the 1900's to the 1930's reflect Modernist theories?

    By 1916 she was making casual pleated skirts from the practical Rodier wool jersey that before the war had been restricted to men's underwear, and topping them with sailor's sweaters in the mode of sportswear. At this time of wartime shortages, Chanel's practical but expensive jersey's seemed an instant modern

  2. Did Max Beckmann's experiences of war contribute to his success as a painter?

    such as those of the world wars on the individual one would need look no further than Beckmann whose major works are a distillation of these catastrophic events. It is the impact of both the World Wars on Beckmann and his work that is the subject of this essay.

  1. "Fra Lippo Lippi," another of Browning's dramatic monologues,

    In his own art, Browning himself doesn't seem to privilege either conclusion; his work demonstrates only a loose didacticism, and it relies more on carefully chosen realistic examples rather than either concrete portraits or abstractions.

  2. Pablo Picasso's Guernica is at once the most monumental and comprehensive statement of social ...

    This path shows in a sense how Spain was beginning to change for the worse by fascism. The horse with the spear in its back signifies victimized humanity overwhelmed by brute force. The motif of the shrieking mouth is represented in that of the screaming woman with her dead child

  1. Creativity is the ability to be original.

    Bombs inside their cars would explode later, killing law enforcement, fire or medical personnel responding to the scene"(cnn.com). These two hate-filled students shot out their classmates at their Jefferson County high school and in the end took their own lives.

  2. Aesop (based on Velzquez) by Goya

    The colours that were used are mostly 'cold' colour. On the left of the picture, it is likely to be the colour of autumn with yellow, brown. On the right of the picture, it is likely to be the colour of winter with black, darker green and darker brown.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work