Dead turkey (1808 – 1812) by Francisco Goya

Dead turkey - Francisco Goya - 1808 - 1812

Artwork Information

TitleDead turkey
ArtistFrancisco Goya
Date1808 - 1812
Dimensions45 x 63 cm
Art MovementRomanticism
Current LocationMuseo del Prado, Madrid, Spain

About Dead turkey

The artwork “Dead turkey,” painted by the acclaimed artist Francisco Goya between 1808 and 1812, epitomizes the Romanticism art movement through its medium of oil on canvas. Measuring 45 by 63 centimeters, this still life is part of the collection of the Museo del Prado in Madrid, Spain. Encapsulating the themes of Romanticism, which often embraced the emotional and the sublime, the artwork captures the drama and mortality inherent in a seemingly mundane subject.

The painting portrays a deceased turkey, its inert body rendered with a striking realism that conveys the weight and finality of death. The turkey’s plumage is depicted in dark, earthy tones, contrasting starkly with the pallor of its lifeless head and neck. Half-closed wings fall heavy against a dark background, while the bird’s open beak, hanging limp, adds to the somber tableau. The sharp textural details of the feathers and the almost tactile representation of its skin highlight Goya’s mastery over the medium. The dark palette and moody atmosphere evoke an emotional response, which is characteristic of Goya’s works during this period of Romanticism, where the focus often shifts towards the more contemplative aspects of life and death.

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