The Forge is a masterpiece painting by Francisco Goya, painted around 1817. It measures just over 71 x 49 inches and is now housed in the Frick Collection in New York City. This study of greys, blues, and black focuses entirely on three blacksmiths at work around an anvil.
Goya has been described as the most important Spanish artist of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The formal portraits he painted of the Spanish Court highlighted the wealth and power of that royal household. Goya’s later works are known for their darker themes, including war, death, and insanity.
The Forge is undoubtedly one of Goya’s greatest achievements with a focus on process rather than event. Each man’s face shows individual concentration as they toil with molten metal under flickering light. This painting reveals his mature style with only essential brushstrokes used to capture every detail. Today it remains one of his most treasured works depicting skilled labour as beautiful art.