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· Provide a substantive response to your classmate. Explain how their post has helped you better understand the relationship between art and identity and draw connections from their post to your thinking.

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For this week’s discussion, I chose the oil on canvas painting, The Third of May, 1808, by Francisco Goya. Goya created this painting in Madrid, Spain, which is still displayed in the Museo del Prado. It was made to commemorate the Spanish resistance to French occupation six years after Napoleon Bonaparte asserted his power by taking over Spain and making his brother King of Spain. In retaliation for this uprising, the French executed many citizens in the city of Madrid (Zappella, 2015, 7:25).

The painting depicts a French firing squad about to execute Spanish citizens. Some of the victims are dead, some about to be shot next, and others awaiting execution. One of the victims is standing with his arms outstretched into the air. His arms and hands are similar to how Jesus was crucified and believed to be a symbol of his martyrdom. This is further reinforced when looking closely at the man’s open hand to see what looks like the scars of stigmata. Also, the artist painted the man’s face with what looks like quick brushstrokes making him appear blurry as if he is in motion. While the painting is primarily dark, the victim in the white shirt is standing in the light and is the artist’s intended focal point.

Goya made this painting in the style of Romanticism. It portrays to the viewer an emotional expression of innocent civilians being killed to make a political statement. It shows how inhumane people can be, especially in times of war. Paintings like this were used to rally people together in solidarity and help unite the community. I chose this painting because I could immediately tell that there was a message that the artist wanted to convey, and I was curious about the setting and why this event occurred.

Goya, F. (1814), The Third of May, 1808 (Oil on Canvas; 8′ 10″ x 11′ 5″)


Goya, F. (1814), The Third of May, 1808 [Oil on Canvas; 8′ 10″ x 11′ 5″]. Museo Nacional del Prado. Madrid, Spain. Retrieved from https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/becoming-modern/romanticism/romanticism-in-spain/a/goya-third-of-may-1808

Zappella, C. (2015, August 9.). Francisco Goya, The Third of May, 1808. Retrieved from https://smarthistory.org/goya-third-of-may-1808/

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