Romantic art starts in the middle 18th century. It’s more about expressing personal feelings such as pursuing of liberty, not the eternity which neoclassicism focuses on. Painters put their attention on people’s emotions, not the form of their bodies. The pictures are often imaginations of the painter, not life observations. Topics are usually about sex, death and violence, which is totally different from neoclassical aesthetic.


The Nude Maja (La maja desnuda), Francisco Goya.
1797–1800, 3′ 2″ x 6′ 3″, Oil on canvas.

Maja ubrana

The Clothed Maja, Francisco Goya.
1798–1805, 3′ 2″ x 6′ 3″, Oil on canvas.

Composition: There’s a woman lying in the picture diagonally.

Value:  Light is focused on her and the background is dark. There’s not much effort on the values of the body forms. Instead, the painter uses value to pop out the figure. For example, her hair is almost flat black and her face is so white. Her eyebrows and dark eyes are so black that pops out her flirting look.

Color: In the Nude Maja, the bluish green sofa makes her ivory body even more attractive. Pillows are light lilac and back walls are brown, they are both desaturaed. In the Clothed Maja, Colors are more saturated. She wears a yellow jacket, and she has a pink skin, these saturated colors drag our eyes to her face. And generally colors are warmer than in the Nude Maja. The sofa became grass green; the light is so warm that makes her white clothes a bit yellow.

Texture/ Patterns: There’s little effort on texture. We can tell some clothes are slick and some are a bit fury. Different from neoclassical paintings, we can hardly see the difference between the textures of her skin and hairs. Overall the painting is rough, no elaborate contours can be found. There’re also some rough patterns on her yellow clothes and the laces of pillows. They are not the interesting point of the painter.




Color thumbnails:

Francisco Goya-22228

A Village Bullfight, Francisco Goya.
1812-14. Oil on panel, 45 x 72 cm


Portrait of Victor Guye, Francisco Goya.
1810, Oil on canvas, 104,5 x 83,5 cm.


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