Young Woman with a Letter (1812 – 1819) by Francisco Goya

Young Woman with a Letter - Francisco Goya - 1812 - 1819

Artwork Information

TitleYoung Woman with a Letter
ArtistFrancisco Goya
Date1812 - 1819
Dimensions181 x 125 cm
Art MovementRomanticism
Current LocationPalais des Beaux-Arts de Lille, Lille, France

About Young Woman with a Letter

The artwork “Young Woman with a Letter” hails from the Romanticism period and is the creation of Francisco Goya, dating back to the period between 1812 and 1819. Created with oil on canvas, the painting measures 181 x 125 cm and falls under the category of genre painting. The artwork finds its home in the Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille, located in Lille, France.

In this depiction, the central focus is a young woman adorned in dark attire, holding a letter in her hand – a thematic element suggesting the significance of personal correspondence and perhaps hidden narratives or emotions. Accompanying her is a mature companion who shelters them both with a parasol, indicating a possible status or protective role. Highlighting the Romantic era’s inclination for the dramatic, personal, and emotive, their engagement seems pensive and undoubtedly conveys an intimate yet untold story.

Foregrounding the scene is an inquisitive small dog, which adds a dynamic element of life and perhaps loyalty or companionship to the composition. In the background, we can make out indistinct figures, their activities obscured and with much left to the observer’s interpretation. The subdued palette and diffuse lighting serve to instill a sense of contemplation and depth, characteristic of Goya’s later works and the Romantic movement as a whole, which prized the expression of the individual experience and the exploration of human emotion.

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