St. Gregory the Great (1797) by Francisco Goya

St. Gregory the Great - Francisco Goya - 1797

Artwork Information

TitleSt. Gregory the Great
ArtistFrancisco Goya
Dimensions190 x 115 cm
Art MovementRomanticism
Current LocationMuseum of Romanticism, Madrid, Spain

About St. Gregory the Great

The artwork titled “St. Gregory the Great” is a profound representation of religious portraiture by the eminent artist Francisco Goya, dating back to the year 1797. Executed with oil on canvas, this piece measures 190 x 115 cm and resonates with the Romanticism movement. It is a portrait genre painting, currently housed in the Museum of Romanticism located in Madrid, Spain.

In the artwork, St. Gregory the Great is depicted in a solemn and introspective pose. He is clothed in opulent liturgical vestments, indicating his high ecclesiastical status within the Christian church. The saint is adorned with a mitre, intricately detailed with gold, which complements the ornate patterns of his garments. His countenance is marked by a sense of wisdom and serenity, with his gaze directed towards the sacred text before him.

The brushwork conveys a texture that elicits the rich fabric of his robe and the heavy pages of the book, which he is studiously penning or perhaps contemplating. Various symbols contained within the attributes of the saint, such as the papal regalia, reinforce his identity as a pontiff and a figure of spiritual authority.

Goya’s mastery of chiaroscuro is noticeable in the artwork, where the interplay of light and shadow not only brings a three-dimensional quality to St. Gregory’s figure but also highlights the emotional gravity and intellectual depth of the scene. The overall composition, color palette, and the portrayal of the individual suggest the artist’s intention to communicate a vivid narrative of contemplation and divine inspiration, characteristic of the Romantic fervor for emotional expressiveness and individual experience.

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