Absurdity Flying (1819 – 1823) by Francisco Goya

Absurdity Flying - Francisco Goya - 1819 - 1823

Artwork Information

TitleAbsurdity Flying
ArtistFrancisco Goya
Date1819 - 1823
Art MovementRomanticism

About Absurdity Flying

The artwork titled “Absurdity Flying” is a distinguished creation by the eminent artist Francisco Goya, conceived during the period of 1819 to 1823. Utilizing the medium of etching on paper, this piece is a part of the “Disparate” series and falls under the genre of caricature, an art form known for its satirical and often exaggerated depiction of subjects. Goya’s remarkable piece is situated within the Romanticism movement, a period characterized by its emphasis on emotion, individualism, and the glorification of the past and nature.

The artwork captures a fantastical creature in mid-flight, an amalgamation of various animal parts fused together to form a unique chimera. The central figure bears a grotesque human face, crowned with what appears to be a chicken’s head, suggestive of a cap or helmet. This hybrid form has the wings of an enormous bird, spread wide, implying a strong, dynamic movement as the wings propel the figure through the air. The creature’s lower half is that of a lion, lending this creature an incongruous yet majestic bearing. These disparate elements come together to form a powerful visual commentary, potentially a metaphor for the folly and irrationality of human nature or society, in line with other works from Goya that often critiqued the social and political circumstances of his time.

The etching technique employed gives the piece a rich texture and depth, with stark contrasts between light and shadow that emphasize the dramatic and otherworldly quality of the scene. As with many of Goya’s works from this period, there is a certain darkness and pessimism that permeates the scene, reflective of the artist’s disillusionment and response to the turbulent era he lived in. The monochromatic palette further enhances the somber and mysterious mood of the artwork, inviting contemplation on the absurdities of the human condition. Through this piece, Goya continues to challenge viewers with his incisive social commentary and unparalleled artistic expression.

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