Naked girl looking in the mirror (c.1796 – c.1797) by Francisco Goya

Naked girl looking in the mirror - Francisco Goya - c.1796 - c.1797

Artwork Information

TitleNaked girl looking in the mirror
ArtistFrancisco Goya
Datec.1796 - c.1797
Art MovementRomanticism

About Naked girl looking in the mirror

The artwork titled “Naked girl looking in the mirror” was created by the renowned Spanish artist Francisco Goya during approximately 1796 to 1797. This piece is a part of the “Album of Madrid” series, which includes a collection of Goya’s works from that period. Goya, a key figure in the Romantic movement, executed this nuanced artwork using a medium of wash, ink, and paper. Belonging to the genre of nude painting (nu), it exemplifies the Romanticism art movement, known for its emphasis on emotion and individualism.

The artwork presents a young nude female figure positioned as if seated, with her back partially turned towards the viewer. Her body is angled with one leg extended while the other is bent, and she is seemingly perched on the edge of an indistinct object that may resemble a chest or box. The focal point of the composition is her engagement with the mirror held in her right hand, where she captures a fleeting moment of self-contemplation or observation. The use of light and shadow creates a stark contrast, adding a dramatic and intimate atmosphere to the scene.

Goya’s masterful handling of the ink and wash medium lends a softness to the figure’s form, while the subtle gradations of tone imbue the artwork with a sense of depth and volume. The sense of immediacy and the unfinished, sketch-like quality of the lines give insight into Goya’s creative process, allowing us to witness an instance of his artistic exploration. Despite the lack of elaborate detail or background, the artwork communicates a narrative of introspection and the natural grace of the human form, central themes in the Romantic era’s exploration of the human experience.

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