Birds of a Feather (1799) by Francisco Goya

Birds of a Feather - Francisco Goya - 1799

Artwork Information

TitleBirds of a Feather
ArtistFrancisco Goya
Dimensions20 x 15.1 cm
Art MovementRomanticism

About Birds of a Feather

The artwork titled “Birds of a Feather” is a creation of the esteemed artist Francisco Goya, dated to the year 1799. This work is executed using the mediums of aquatint and etching on paper. It embodies the Romanticism art movement and is characterized by its caricature genre. The dimensions of this piece measure approximately 20 by 15.1 centimeters.

In the artwork, we observe a dramatic play of light and darkness, a hallmark of Goya’s style. Three figures dominate the scene, portrayed with exaggerated and caricatured features. The central figure is a woman of seemingly high social standing, given her elaborate dress and confident posture. She wears a voluminous, dark dress adorned with ruffles and a hat decorated with feathers, which may connotate her social pretensions or status. On either side of her, there are two other figures—one being another woman wrapped in a shawl, her face obscured and bent towards the ground in a submissive or possibly gossiping pose. The second figure is a male whose face is partially hidden as he leans towards the central woman, his intent unclear but contributing to the overall narrative of social interaction and possibly deceit. The use of deep shadows and the stark contrast instills a sense of psychological intensity, making a pointed social commentary that aligns with Goya’s intent to critique the mores of his time.

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