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Goya and Daumier Comparison

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Goya and Daumier Comparison

I have found the realism arts to be very fascinating. The three pieces of art that I will be discussing are Francisco Goya's The Third of May, 1808 oil on canvas 8ft 9 in. x 13ft 4in, Eugene Delacroix's Liberty Leading the People, 1830 oil on canvas 8 ft 6 3/8 in. x 10ft. 8 in. and Honore Daumier, Fight between Schools, Idealism and Realism, 1855 Caricature

The painting The Third of May, by Francisco de Goya, was done to commemorate the events of that took place during the Napoleonic Wars in Madrid, Spain on May 2 and 3 1808. The painting sets the scene of a man about to be killed by a firing squad. The bodies of those who have already been killed are scattered around him, and those that wait to be killed stand in line behind him. The ground is covered in blood from those who have already been executed. The sky in the background is black, with the outline of a convent on the horizon. "Goya uses his art to make his statement that war of any kind produces no good". (

The people waiting to be killed are not as prominent as the man facing death at the moment. Their emotions seem to be of fear and sadness. They are all grouped together crying, focused on themselves rather than exhibiting the bravery that the man about to be killed is. They are all covering their faces, which seems to represent their need to hide themselves from the fate which is awaiting them. They are not as willing to accept their death as the man about to be killed. "For the first time war was depicted as futile and inglorious and for the first time there were no heroes only killers and the killed." ( The bloody corpses lying on the ground seem to further emphasize the horrible and brutal reality of what occurred that morning. The red blood spilled all over the ground is a contrast to the otherwise relatively colorless scene. It draws the viewer to look at it and to think about what it means and where it comes from.

The French Revolution of 1830, also known as the July Revolution, was a revolt by the middle class against Bourbon King Charles X which forced him out of office and replaced him with the Orleans King Louis-Philippe (the "July Monarchy"). Delacroix's Liberty Leading the People painted in 1830 reflects many of the ideals of the revolution, both political and cultural. In the painting, you can see the chaos and confusion of the revolution in action, led by the guiding, flag waving figure of Liberty. Lady Liberty although the picture is painted with dark colors is brighter than the other persons in the painting. This is representing, in my opinion, the hope of the people. Except for the Aristocracy, all the major classes of Paris are represented: the bourgeoisie, the workers, the women, and the gamine. In the background of the picture is seen the Towers of the Notre Dame Cathedral.

"As a painter, Daumier, one of the pioneers of naturalism, did not meet with success until a year before his death in 1878" ( The main subjects of Daumier's satirical cartoons were meant to show the corrupt regime, the injustice of the law courts, and the hypocrisy of the middle class. He created universal types and characters personifying all aspects of the "human condition"; his scenes of the low, the humble, the commonplace, and the recall the world. Daumier was a political cartoonist and some of his images were so insulting to King Louis-Phillipe, that he had Daumier arrested in 1832 and jailed for two years.

Francisco Goya, considered to be "the Father of Modern Art," began his painting career just after the late Baroque period. In expressing his thoughts and feelings frankly, as he did, he became the pioneer of new artistic tendencies in the 19th century. His art represented the reaction against previous conceptions of art and the desire for a new form of expression. In order to understand the scope of Goya's art, and to appreciate the principles which governed his development and tremendous versatility, it is essential to realize that his work extended over a period of more than 60 years.

The importance of this factor is evident between his attitude towards life in his youth, when he accepted the world as it was quite happily, in his manhood when he began to criticize it, and in his old age when he became embittered and disillusioned with people and society. The world changed completely during his lifetime and the society, in which he had achieved a great success, disappeared during the Napoleonic war. Long before the end of the 18th century Goya had already turned towards his new ideals and expressed them in his graphic art and in his paintings.

Daumier's made paintings and drawings of morals and manners that are highly original both in style and subject. He added contemporary Parisian types, lawyers, politicians, businessmen, professors, doctors

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