The monk (c.1820 – c.1824) by Francisco Goya

The monk - Francisco Goya - c.1820 - c.1824

Artwork Information

TitleThe monk
ArtistFrancisco Goya
Datec.1820 - c.1824
Art MovementRomanticism

About The monk

“The Monk” is an artwork by the renowned Spanish artist Francisco Goya, created approximately between 1820 and 1824. As an engraving on paper, this work epitomizes the Romanticism movement, embodying the era’s characteristic emotional depth and emphasis on individual experience. The artwork falls under the genre painting category, which typically depicts scenes of everyday life.

The artwork presents a solitary figure, a monk, captured in a moment of profound contemplation or prayer. The subject is cloaked in a garment that envelops his form, creating a stark contrast between the dark tones of the attire and the lighter background, lending an ethereal quality to the composition. The monk appears to be holding a crucifix, which serves as a focal point, suggesting the theme of spirituality and devotion that pervades the piece. This central emblem of faith, juxtaposed against the simplicity of the setting, invites contemplation on the inner life and piety of the figure portrayed.

With deep, shadowy tones and a palpable texture, Goya’s mastery in translating the intangible aspects of human experience into visual form is evident. There is a distinct atmosphere of introspection and solemnity captured in the monk’s posture and the overall dim lighting of the scene. The artwork encapsulates a moment frozen in time, evoking a sense of stillness and silence that is characteristic of monastic life, while also reflecting broader Romantic themes of the sublime and the transcendent.

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