The Duchess of Alba Arranging her Hair (1796) by Francisco Goya

The Duchess of Alba Arranging her Hair - Francisco Goya - 1796

Artwork Information

TitleThe Duchess of Alba Arranging her Hair
ArtistFrancisco Goya
Dimensions24.5 x 18.3 cm
Art MovementRomanticism
Current LocationBiblioteca Nacional de España, Madrid, Spain

About The Duchess of Alba Arranging her Hair

The artwork entitled “The Duchess of Alba Arranging her Hair” was created by the esteemed artist Francisco Goya in 1796. Executed in ink on paper, this piece exemplifies the Romantic movement, with its dimensions measuring 24.5 by 18.3 centimeters. As a portrait genre, the artwork is housed in the Biblioteca Nacional de España, located in Madrid, Spain, where it adds to the nation’s rich cultural heritage.

The artwork depicts the Duchess of Alba captured in a moment of unguarded intimacy as she arranges her hair. The fluidity of the ink medium allows for a dynamic representation of her movements and lends an ephemeral quality to the scene. Her expression conveys a sense of concentration and natural grace, while the drape and flow of her attire suggest a casual elegance. The deft use of shading creates a tangible sense of depth and volume, particularly in the rendering of her cascading hair and the intricate details of her dress. Abandoning the formal constraints of portraiture typical for the time, Goya provides viewers with a glimpse into the private life of the Duchess, an approach that aligns with the Romantic movement’s emphasis on individual emotion and the sublime.

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