The Duke of Wellington (c.1812) by Francisco Goya

The Duke of Wellington - Francisco Goya - c.1812

Artwork Information

TitleThe Duke of Wellington
ArtistFrancisco Goya
Art MovementRomanticism
Current LocationNational Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, US

About The Duke of Wellington

Francisco Goya’s artwork “The Duke of Wellington,” created circa 1812, is a quintessential example of the Romanticism art movement, categorized within the portrait genre. On display at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, USA, the artwork presents a compelling visual narrative of the subject, the Duke of Wellington, known for his military prowess and statesmanship.

The artwork captures the Duke of Wellington in a three-quarter pose against a muted, dark background, which serves to highlight the figure. He is dressed in attire befitting his social and military stature—donning a dark coat that exudes a sense of formality coupled with the prestige of his position. The inclusion of an ornate cravat and vest conveys the subject’s affluence and refined taste. Goya’s brilliant handling of paint accentuates the rich textures of the Duke’s clothing, from the soft material of his coat to the intricate lace of his cravat.

Dominating the composition is the large, black bicorne hat, which rests atop the Duke’s head, emphasizing both his status and the military fashion of the period. The Duke’s expression is firm and resolute, with his gaze seeming to reflect a keen intelligence and perhaps the weight of his responsibilities. The artwork’s mastery lies in the representation of the character and accomplishments of the Duke, with a subtle play of chiaroscuro that enhances the dignified representation and adds a level of dramatic intensity characteristic of Goya’s style and the Romantic era.

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