The Sacrifice to Priapus (1771) by Francisco Goya

The Sacrifice to Priapus - Francisco Goya - 1771

Artwork Information

TitleThe Sacrifice to Priapus
ArtistFrancisco Goya
Dimensions33 x 24 cm
Art MovementRomanticism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About The Sacrifice to Priapus

The artwork titled “The Sacrifice to Priapus” is an oil on canvas painting by Francisco Goya, created in 1771. As an exemplar of Romanticism, this mythological painting measures 33 x 24 cm and currently resides within a private collection.

The artwork features a nocturnal scene bathed in a chiaroscuro effect, a signature technique during the Romantic period to create dramatic contrast. In the foreground, two figures positioned in a darkened and forested environment are engaged in a ceremonial act. To the left, a partially clothed female figure is seen in a kneeling position, pouring liquid from a vessel, presumably as an offering. Her attention is directed towards a large statue representing Priapus, the god of fertility, which dominates the center of the composition. To the right, another figure, shrouded in draped white garments, stands with arms raised, holding aloft a golden dish in what appears to be a gesture of reverence or offering. The somber palette and the use of shadow contribute to the sense of mystery and solemnity consistent with the painting’s mythological subject.

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