Chained Prisoner (1806 – 1812) by Francisco Goya

Chained Prisoner - Francisco Goya - 1806 - 1812

Artwork Information

TitleChained Prisoner
ArtistFrancisco Goya
Date1806 - 1812
Dimensions21.8 x 15.1 cm
Art MovementRomanticism
Current LocationMusée Bonnat, Bayonne, France

About Chained Prisoner

The artwork “Chained Prisoner” is a creation by artist Francisco Goya, executed between the years 1806 and 1812. This piece is crafted using wash, ink, and paper, embodying the Romanticism art movement. The genre painting measures 21.8 x 15.1 cm and is currently housed at the Musée Bonnat in Bayonne, France.

The artwork presents a striking image of a man in a state of captivity, conveying a sense of despair and resilience. The subject is hunched over, his features etched with fatigue and possible anguish. Despite the limited palette and the relatively small scale of the piece, Goya’s adept use of wash and ink imbues the work with a palpable sense of texture and shadow. The chains binding the figure’s hands and feet are prominently displayed, contributing to the thematic weight of entrapment and the loss of freedom. The background is minimally detailed, allowing the viewer to focus on the emotional resonance of the central figure.

Goya’s facility in rendering human emotion is evident here, as the artwork communicates a powerful narrative of human suffering. The Romanticism movement, to which this work belongs, often sought to express individuality, emotion, and naturalistic themes, and “Chained Prisoner” encapsulates these qualities through its poignant depiction of the human condition. The piece serves as a compelling example of Goya’s masterful technique and his engagement with themes of social and political commentary.

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