The Prado

Francisco de Goya

The Third of May 1808

Madrid for kids

in Madrid:
the Execution at Principe Pio, 1814
On the 2nd May 1808 many unarmed people of Madrid rose up against an invading French Napoleonic army.  Without weapons they were quickly defeated, arrested and executed.  
There is a story that Goya witnessed the executions of many from the window of his studio and was inspired to paint this heart rending image.If you have google earth you can view this painting in very high detail.  Just Click on masterpieces.
The figure with his hands raised is highlighted due to his white shirt illuminated by the lantern.  We are forced to experience the horror of war through the terror on his face.  
The people surrounding him cower in fear and distress, there is even a monk among them, can you find him?.  The soldiers facing him with muskets ready to?

The Clothed Maja c.  1797

The Naked Maja c.1797

Boy, did the Naked Maja cause Goya a few headaches.  In 1815 the Inquisition ordered that Goya be summoned to explain why he had painted this 'obscene' work.  There are no records of what happened.  The reason Maja caused so much controversy is because she was looking right at the viewer.  Until now the nude would be sleeping or looking away from the viewer.  She also had pubic hair, unlike any nudes up until now.It is believed to have been part of a man called Godoy's 'secret collection' and that when certain people [let's say his Mother] came to visit him he could swing the naked Maja around and the clothed Maja would replace her, so he would not cause any offence.
Saturn Devouring One of his Sons, 1820-23Goya's
Goya was a master at depicting the everyday life in medieval Spain.  Towards the end of his life he suffered depression and painted many dark and frightening images on the walls of his home, known as his 'black paintings'.  This macabre image is of the Roman God Saturn eating his own son.  Saturn had heard a prophecy that one of his children would overthrow him and so he ate them.  

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