Francisco Goya’s fresco painting, Men Reading, completed between 1820-1823, measures 126 x 66 cm and is located in the Museo del Prado in Madrid. The painting portrays four men dressed in black as they engage in what seems to be a serious intellectual discussion. Goya’s expressionist talents are evident in this artwork, conveying Spain’s political stagnation at the time.
Men Reading is a formal portrait that contains veiled criticisms of Spaniards’ ineffectual rulers and their circles. Goya painted what he saw during his time, and it wasn’t pretty – reflecting contemporary historical upheavals. His art style has been described as Romantic and rooted in socio-political challenges.
Goya was a talented Spanish painter and printmaker known for being one of the last Old Masters of painting as well as the first moderns. Some of his other famous artworks include The Second of May 1808 and The Third of May 1808. Men Reading remains an important piece that adds insight into Spain’s political situation during its completion.