The Straw Manikin (1791 – 1792) by Francisco Goya

The Straw Manikin - Francisco Goya - 1791 - 1792

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Artwork Information

TitleThe Straw Manikin
ArtistFrancisco Goya
Date1791 - 1792
Dimensions97 x 160 cm
Art MovementRococo
Current LocationMuseo del Prado, Madrid, Spain

About The Straw Manikin

“The Straw Manikin” is a masterful genre painting by the renowned Spanish artist Francisco Goya, executed between 1791 and 1792. Employing oil on canvas as his medium, Goya captures a lively scene in the dimensions of 97 by 160 centimeters. This remarkable artwork exemplifies the Rococo art movement and is currently housed at the esteemed Museo del Prado in Madrid, Spain, where it contributes to the rich tapestry of historical artistic creations.

The artwork depicts a dynamic and playful moment, capturing four young women engaging in a game with a manikin. In the center of the composition, the straw manikin, dressed in a mask and an outfit that resembles those of the period, is being playfully tossed into the air by the women using a cloth or blanket. The figures are set against a backdrop of soft blues and gentle greens, indicating a serene outdoor setting, with a glimpse of classical architecture visible in the distance which adds a subtle sense of depth to the scene.

Each individual in the group is portrayed with detailed attention to the attire, accurately reflecting the fashion of the time. The women exhibit varying expressions of joy and amusement, which skillfully conveys the light-hearted essence of the activity. The overall atmosphere is one of joviality, and the fluidity of Goya’s brushwork imbues the scene with a sense of movement and vivacity.

In this work, Goya captures an everyday leisure activity with grace and humor, while displaying his adeptness at genre painting—a form that portrays scenes of everyday life. “The Straw Manikin” stands as a testament to the artist’s ability to intertwine social observation with artistic elegance, rendering a piece that is both culturally insightful and aesthetically pleasing.

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