Ferdinand VII (c.1814) by Francisco Goya

Ferdinand VII - Francisco Goya - c.1814

Artwork Information

TitleFerdinand VII
ArtistFrancisco Goya
Dimensions207 x 144 cm
Art MovementRomanticism
Current LocationMuseo del Prado, Madrid, Spain

About Ferdinand VII

The artwork “Ferdinand VII” by Francisco Goya, created circa 1814, is an oil painting on canvas that exemplifies the Romanticism art movement. It measures 207 by 144 centimeters and is part of the portrait genre. The painting is housed in the Museo del Prado, located in Madrid, Spain.

The artwork depicts Ferdinand VII of Spain, standing with a pronounced pose that conveys a blend of authority and self-assurance. He is adorned in a heavily decorated regal uniform embodying his royal status, complete with a dark coat embellished with golden patterns, a red sash, and badges of honor that capture the eye with their intricate detail. Goya’s mastery in painting is evident throughout the piece, especially in the realistic rendition of textures and the play of light on the medals and sash to convey a sense of opulence and power.

The king’s facial expression is serious, commanding attention and fostering an atmosphere of respect fitting for a royal portrait. Behind Ferdinand VII, a blurry suggestion of a military scene unfolds, hinting at the vast and complex nature of his reign during a turbulent time in Spain. The brushwork varies across the composition, with looser and brisk strokes in the background and meticulously detailed work in the figure itself.

Despite the painting’s large size, Goya manages to maintain a sense of intimacy, focusing the viewer’s gaze on the monarch. The dichotomy between the clarity of the king’s figure and the obscurity of the background is a characteristic aspect of Romanticism, which often plays with dramatic contrasts and emotional expressions. This portrait, therefore, not only serves as a historical representation of Ferdinand VII but also as an artistic testament to the Romantic period’s stylistic preferences.

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