The Prisoners in Chains (1818 – 1820) by Francisco Goya

The Prisoners in Chains - Francisco Goya - 1818 - 1820

Artwork Information

TitleThe Prisoners in Chains
ArtistFrancisco Goya
Date1818 - 1820
Art MovementRomanticism
Current LocationMetropolitan Museum of Art (Met), New York City, NY, US

About The Prisoners in Chains

“The Prisoners in Chains,” an evocative work by Francisco Goya, was created during the period between 1818 and 1820. This artwork is part of the Romanticism movement and is categorized as a portrait. It is currently housed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met) in New York City, New York, United States.

The artwork is a stark, emotionally-charged depiction that conveys a sense of despair and oppression. It portrays figures in what appears to be a dimly lit prison cell environment. The central figures, shackled and in a state of helplessness, are rendered with a profound sense of weight and gravity that is characteristic of Goya’s later works. The use of strong chiaroscuro intensifies the dramatic effect, highlighting the play of light and shadow that serves to further emphasize the hopelessness of the scene. Goya’s choice of this subject matter and his sympathetic rendering of the figures’ plight reflects the Romantic movement’s fascination with the darker aspects of the human condition and societal injustices.

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