Equestrian portrait of Maria Luisa of Parma (1788) by Francisco Goya

Equestrian portrait of Maria Luisa of Parma - Francisco Goya - 1788

Artwork Information

TitleEquestrian portrait of Maria Luisa of Parma
ArtistFrancisco Goya
Dimensions338 x 282 cm
Art MovementRomanticism

About Equestrian portrait of Maria Luisa of Parma

The artwork titled “Equestrian portrait of Maria Luisa of Parma” was crafted by the illustrious artist Francisco Goya in the year 1788. This grand painting exemplifies the Romanticism movement and is distinguished by its notable dimensions of 338 x 282 cm. As a genre, it is categorized as a portrait, capturing the likeness and stature of its noble subject.

The artwork portrays Maria Luisa of Parma, mounted on a horse, epitomizing both grace and authority. Maria Luisa is depicted in profile, riding side-saddle as befits her royal stance. She is adorned in regal attire, with a sash and decorations that reflect her status, and she dons a black hat embellished with a plume, enriching her dignified bearing. The horse is similarly a symbol of noble breeding, outfitted in opulent trappings, and appears calm and well trained, obedient to its rider’s guidance.

Goya’s masterful use of contrast emphasizes the figures of both Maria Luisa and her steed against a muted landscape, which provides a sense of depth and expanse, perhaps indicating the far-reaching power of the subject. The skillful rendering of textures—from the softness of the fabrics to the horse’s sleek coat—is evident and speaks to Goya’s expertise and attention to detail. Moreover, the delicate interplay of light and shadow imbues the scene with a lifelike quality, while the color palette is both realistic and rich, befitting the subject’s royal status. In this portrait, Goya not only captures the physical likeness but also conveys the majesty and symbolic power of the personage he depicts.

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