Two Old Ones Eating Soup / The Witchy Brew (1819 – 1823) by Francisco Goya

Two Old Ones Eating Soup / The Witchy Brew - Francisco Goya - 1819 - 1823

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Artwork Information

TitleTwo Old Ones Eating Soup / The Witchy Brew
ArtistFrancisco Goya
Date1819 - 1823
Dimensions83.4 x 49.3 cm
Art MovementRomanticism
Current LocationMuseo del Prado, Madrid, Spain

About Two Old Ones Eating Soup / The Witchy Brew

The artwork titled “Two Old Ones Eating Soup,” also known as “The Witchy Brew,” is a creation by the esteemed artist Francisco Goya, executed between 1819 and 1823. This piece is painted using oil on canvas and forms part of the Romanticism movement. The dimensions of this genre painting measure approximately 83.4 by 49.3 centimeters. It is one among the influential “Black Paintings” series developed by Goya during that period, and currently, it is housed in the Museo del Prado located in Madrid, Spain.

The artwork depicts a haunting scene with two elderly figures engaged in the act of eating soup. This piece is steeped in dark, earthy tones that contribute to a somber and unsettling mood. The subjects are portrayed with exaggerated, almost grotesque features, their eyes appearing hollow and their expressions conveying a sense of gnawing hunger or desperation. The left figure, ostensibly female, leans over a bowl with a spoon mid-motion, her eyes fixed on the viewer with a penetrating gaze. The figure to the right, shrouded in shadow, presents as a skull-like visage, enhancing the overall grim atmosphere of the scene. Together, the figures and the dark tone of the painting evoke themes of decay, old age, and perhaps the primal nature of human existence. The heavy use of shadow and the rough, almost aggressive brushstrokes are indicative of Goya’s later works, where his disillusionment with society and preoccupation with mortality are palpable.

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