The Duchess of Alba and Her Duenna (1795) by Francisco Goya

The Duchess of Alba and Her Duenna - Francisco Goya - 1795

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Artwork Information

TitleThe Duchess of Alba and Her Duenna
ArtistFrancisco Goya
Dimensions30.5 x 25 cm
Art MovementRomanticism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About The Duchess of Alba and Her Duenna

“The Duchess of Alba and Her Duenna” is an oil on canvas artwork created by the esteemed artist Francisco Goya in 1795. As a notable work from the Romanticism art movement, the portrait measures 30.5 by 25 cm and belongs in a private collection. Characteristic of its genre, the artwork exquisitely captures its subjects and is a testament to Goya’s skill as a portraitist during a period of rich artistic expression.

The artwork portrays two figures, presumed to be the Duchess of Alba accompanied by her duenna, or chaperone. The composition is dominated by the Duchess, who is depicted with a sense of dynamism and personality. She is dressed in elaborate garments featuring intricate lace and ribbon detailing, with her gown radiating a sense of luxury and status. In sharp contrast, the duenna is clothed in simpler attire, with a modest bonnet and a dress that suggests functionality over fashion. The backdrop of the artwork is relatively dark, which focuses the viewer’s attention on the two central figures, highlighting the differences between them not just in dress, but also in demeanor and social standing. The brushwork is loose and expressive, which is characteristic of Goya’s style, and the use of lighting creates a dramatic atmosphere befitting the Romantic era. The overall effect is one of an intimate glimpse into the lives and social hierarchies of the times in which Goya lived and painted.

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