Sharing the Old Woman (c.1810) by Francisco Goya

Sharing the Old Woman - Francisco Goya - c.1810

Artwork Information

TitleSharing the Old Woman
ArtistFrancisco Goya
Art MovementRomanticism

About Sharing the Old Woman

The artwork “Sharing the Old Woman” was crafted by the distinguished artist Francisco Goya around the year 1810. This work is executed using wash on paper and is characterized by the Romanticism art movement. “Sharing the Old Woman” fits into the genre of caricature, where the subject matter is typically presented in a satirical or comedic fashion to expose human follies or vices.

The artwork presents a scene where three figures interact in a curious and unsettling way. The central figure is an elderly woman, whose limp body is awkwardly shared by two younger individuals on either side of her. They each hold onto a part of the ladder-back chair on which she is seated, pulling it in opposite directions as if engaged in a tug-of-war. The expressions on the faces of the participants are exaggerated and grotesque, a common trait in caricatures to emphasize emotional states or critique societal issues. The two younger individuals emit a sense of mischief or conflict, while the old woman appears lifeless and resigned as if she has no control over her own fate.

The lines and technique in this work are representative of Goya’s style during the period, employing loose and fluid marks to convey action and character. Delicate shading and stark contrasts create depth and focus the viewer’s attention on the interaction between the subjects. The artwork as a whole reflects Romanticism’s fascination with the strange and macabre, alongside an examination of human behavior and societal norms.

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