The Third of May 1808
The Third of May 1808 is a painting completed in 1814 by the Spanish painter Francisco Goya, now in the Museo del Prado, Madrid. In the work, Goya sought to commemorate Spanish resistance to Napoleon’s armies during the occupation of 1808 in the Peninsular War. The painting’s content, presentation, and emotional force secure its status as a groundbreaking, archetypal image of the horrors of war.
About The Third of May 1808 in brief
The Third of May 1808 is a painting completed in 1814 by the Spanish painter Francisco Goya, now in the Museo del Prado, Madrid. In the work, Goya sought to commemorate Spanish resistance to Napoleon’s armies during the occupation of 1808 in the Peninsular War. The painting’s content, presentation, and emotional force secure its status as a groundbreaking, archetypal image of the horrors of war. It has inspired a number of other major paintings, including a series by Édouard Manet, and Pablo Picasso’s Massacre in Korea and Guernica. It is acknowledged as one of the first paintings of the modern era, and has no distinct precedent, and is one of only a handful of paintings of war by a major artist of the 20th century. It depicts a cavalry charge against the rebels in the Puerta del Sol square in the center of Madrid, the site of several hours of fierce combat between the French and Spanish forces. The Third ofMay 1808 was commissioned by the provisional government of Spain at Goya’s suggestion. It was the first to be called a guerrilla war, and considerably aided the Spanish forces, jointly led by British and Portuguese armies, led by Sir Arthur Wellesley. The Second of May, which depicts the uprising in the square in Sol del Sol, depicts the French reprisals the next day before the dawn of the next morning, before hundreds of Spaniards were rounded up and shot at a number of locations around Madrid.
The work has been described as ‘the first great picture which can be called revolutionary in every sense of the word, in style, in subject, and in intention’ It is now on display at the Museum of Modern Art, in New York, along with a companion piece of the same size, The Second, which is on display in the National Gallery, in Washington, D.C., as well as other works by Goya and Picasso, including The Third, The Third and The Second Of May, and the Second, the Second and the Third, the Third and the Fourth, the Fourth and the Fifth, the Fifth and the Sixth, among other works of art by the great artists of the 19th and 20th centuries. The Fifth and Sixth, the Last and the Seventh, are still on show at the museum, and show the aftermath of the battle of Salamanca in 1808. The Last and Fourth, which are on show in London, are on view in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, London, until the end of the 21st century, when they will be moved to a new location. They will be displayed in a new gallery, the Metropolitan Gallery, from which they have been donated by the museum’s director, Josep Gómez-López-Márquez. The Fourth and Fifth, which were painted in 1815 and 1816, will be shown in the Museum’s Galleria de Arquibancos, in Madrid.