Summer, or The Harvest (1786) by Francisco Goya

Summer, or The Harvest - Francisco Goya - 1786

Artwork Information

TitleSummer, or The Harvest
ArtistFrancisco Goya
Dimensions276 x 641 cm
Art MovementRomanticism
Current LocationMuseo del Prado, Madrid, Spain

About Summer, or The Harvest

The artwork titled “Summer, or The Harvest” was created by the eminent artist Francisco Goya in 1786. This oil on canvas piece is significant in its representation of the Romanticism movement and is categorized as a genre painting. The artwork’s impressive dimensions are 276 x 641 cm, and it is housed in the Museo del Prado in Madrid, Spain, which makes it an essential part of their collection.

The artwork captures a moment of rural life with a vibrant and bustling harvest scene. In the foreground, a group of peasants appears engaged in various activities related to the gathering and processing of wheat. Some figures stand prominently, while others rest or busy themselves with the heaps of grain. The lively interactions among the characters lend a dynamic quality to the composition.

In the center, a man joyously dances, celebrating the bountiful harvest, his arms flanked by two other figures who appear to participate in the festivity. To his right, workers are resting, lounging on the sheaves of wheat. On the left, a pair of oxen is tended to by peasants, potentially preparing for transport of the harvested grain. The presence of the animals—both the oxen and a conspicuously reclining white horse—adds to the authenticity of the agrarian setting.

The background of the artwork shows large stacks of hay with a soft blue sky, suggesting the heat of the summer season. A subtle yet well-defined castle in the distance provides a sense of place and indicates the rural setting’s historical context.

Overall, Goya’s mastery is evident in the artwork’s composition, the vitality of the figures, and the portrayal of the natural setting. This painting is an exemplary piece that captures the essence of life and work in the countryside during the late 18th century, reflecting both the Romantic spirit and Goya’s keen observational skills.

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