Yard with Lunatics (1793-94) by Francisco Goya

Yard with Lunatics - Goya, Francisco - 1793-94

Artwork Information

TitleYard with Lunatics
ArtistFrancisco Goya
MediumOil on tinplate
Dimensions43.8 x 32.7 cm
Current LocationMeadows Museum, Dallas
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About Yard with Lunatics

Yard with Lunatics is a small oil-on-tinplate painting completed by Francisco Goya between 1793 and 1794. Goya was inspired to create this painting after witnessing scenes of lunatics in institutions during his youth in Zaragoza. The painting depicts a yard filled with several mentally ill individuals, including two nude men fighting while their caretaker beats them.

The violence and cruelty portrayed in the painting are unusual occurrences for the depicted asylum. Goya’s realistic style helps depict the disturbing reality faced by mentally ill individuals during this time period. The painting has been analyzed using Foucault’s discourse to represent the tension between Romantic and Classical ideas and can be seen as a statement about society’s treatment of those deemed “insane.”

Yard with Lunatics is part of the Algur H. Meadows Collection at the Meadows Museum in Dallas, Texas. In person, viewers can appreciate this Realist artwork’s detail as it reveals the artist’s brushstrokes and attention to color and composition. This piece serves as an insight into both historical methods of treating mental illness and artistic expression, influencing subsequent generations of artists that later attempted to pose similar commentary on society through their work.

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