Men Reading (c. 1819-1823) by Francisco Goya

Men Reading - Francisco Goya - 1819 - 1823

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Artwork Information

TitleMen Reading
ArtistFrancisco Goya
Date1819 - 1823
MediumOil on Canvas,gesso
Dimensions126 x 66 cm
Art MovementRomanticism
Current LocationMuseo del Prado, Madrid

About Men Reading

The artwork “Men Reading” is a compelling oil on canvas painting by Francisco Goya, created during the years 1819 to 1823. It measures 126 x 66 cm and is crafted with the additional use of gesso. This piece is part of the renowned “Black Paintings” series and is currently housed at the Museo del Prado in Madrid. Goya’s work is associated with the Romanticism movement and is considered a genre painting due to its depiction of everyday life scenes.

The artwork itself conveys a somber and intense atmosphere. It features a group of men, huddled closely together, engaged in reading a document. Their faces are illuminated by the light reflecting off the paper, creating striking contrasts of light and shadow—a technique that underscores the sense of absorption and concentration amongst the figures. The rest of the composition fades into darkness, directing the viewer’s focus to the central action. This limited use of light, alongside the expressions and postures of the men, evoke a mood that is at once introspective and intense. It is emblematic of Goya’s later works, which are often noted for their dark tones and exploration of psychological depth.

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