Francisco Goya, The Third of May: Visual Elements

Topics: Color, Dead Men of Dunharrow, Vanishing point Pages: 5 (1993 words) Published: August 25, 2011
Francisco Goya, The Third of May, 1808 p.327
Visual Elements
A.Line-There are actual lines in this painting from the rifles toward the man holding his hands up. When looking at this painting you view quickly from the right to the left and can almost feel the inevitable execution. There is also a line in the sand separating the light from the dark. Seems to be imply between the good of the Spaniards who are about to be executed, from the evil hooded men who are shooting.

I believe that there is an implied line between the end of the gun and the man with his arms up. It is giving an action that you can almost feel the gunshot from the barrel executing the man. Especially how when looking from right to left it goes from dark to light, like the gun has been fired.

B.)Shape-The geometric shape of the lantern stands out to me right away. Its rectangular shape and the triangle shape of the light which it creates draw my eye in this painting. It seems to paint a positive light on the people that are about to be executed. There are many more geometric shapes in this painting than organic.

The organic shapes that I see are the rounded hill in the background and the contours that are created in the sand. These two in the painting are good examples of biomorphic shapes.
C.)Mass-The mass is implied here and is created by the forms of the captives. They seem to go in all directions here with their arms and the way each is bent. It really creates urgency that they are about to be shot.

There is no actual mass in this painting as this is seen in 3-dimensional art. It is the physical bulk of a solid body of material. You can only consider the paint and the canvas as actual mass here.

D.)Space-This is the most difficult to convey for an artist. The two-dimensional space here is the painting surface with its height and width.
The implied depth here is the hill in the background creating the feeling that the men cannot escape their impeding death. Then you also see the town in the background giving reference that the men are on the beach away from town.

There is overlapping of the men in front of the hill and the hill in front of the town. This gives us the impression of depth that the men are much closer than the town is. I also see vertical placement by the men lying on the ground dying in the bottom right and how he appears to be closer than anyone else. By placing him low he seems to be much closer than the town much higher on the plane.

I also see diminishing size in the soldiers that are about to execute the men. The man closest to the viewer is the biggest and they gradually diminish in size as they move up the plane. It gives me the sense of increasing distance between them.

Perspective- I see linear perspective with the vanishing point in the background where the land and the sky meet. I also see a vanishing point where the hill meets the men that are witnessing the execution. There is one more vanishing point where the sand meets the hill. Goya does a good job in this painting of creating a one-point perspective. Everything seems to get smaller as you look up the painting.

I see some atmospheric/aerial perspective in this painting in the background with the hill, town, and the sky. There is a diminished color quality between them and the contrast between light and dark is reduced in the background compared with the foreground.

E.) Time and Motion- Here Goya represented this in the fact that the soldiers are about to fire on the men. You get the feeling that they are going to be shot which is in the present. Others are nearby who will be shot in the future. There are also the men lying around that have already been shot given the impression of the past.

The implied motion is the man who is praying, the man throwing his hands up in defiance, and the man with his hands placed in his face. All of these imply that they are about to be shot any moment.

I do not see any examples of...
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