Scene of Rape and Murder (1808 – 1812) by Francisco Goya

Scene of Rape and Murder - Francisco Goya - 1808 - 1812

Artwork Information

TitleScene of Rape and Murder
ArtistFrancisco Goya
Date1808 - 1812
Dimensions30.5 x 39.8 cm
Art MovementRomanticism
Current LocationStädel, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

About Scene of Rape and Murder

The artwork named “Scene of Rape and Murder” was executed by Francisco Goya between 1808 and 1812. Falling under the Romanticism art movement, this genre painting measures 30.5 x 39.8 cm. Currently, it resides at the Städel in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

The artwork depicts a deeply disturbing scene fraught with violence and chaos. At first glance, one can discern the central action involving figures that occupy most of the canvas. In the foreground lies a reclined figure in a pale, almost luminescent yellow garment contrasted starkly against the dark background. The figure appears vulnerable and is engaging with other figures surrounding them, projecting a sense of imminent assault and distress. The brushwork is vigorous, and the coloring somber, capturing the intensity and tumultuous energy of the scene.

The dynamics of the composition are underscored by the dramatic interplay of light and shadow, which is characteristic of Goya’s later work that often tackles themes of violence, suffering, and the darker aspects of human nature. The expressionistic use of paint and the rough handling of forms here serve to underscore the brutality and horror of the subject matter, leaving the viewer with a lingering sense of discomfort and empathy for the figures depicted. Goya’s ability to convey raw emotion through such visceral imagery is a testament to his mastery and pivotal role within the Romantic period.

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