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Thrush from Bordeaux

Painting, 1827, 74×68 cm

Description of the artwork «Thrush from Bordeaux»

"The milkmaid of Bordeaux" – one of the last works of Francisco Goya, written by 80-year-old artist in the French exile.

Presented now in the Prado Museum, the painting "the Milkmaid of Bordeaux" provoked a range of emotions from admiration to bewilderment, were appointed "the first ever painting, done in the spirit of impressionism" were not attributed to Goya and his young daughter Maria del Rosario, in General, behaved meaningfully and mysteriously, like any true masterpiece.

In what circumstances created "the Milkmaid of Bordeaux"?

Since the beginning of the XIX century, the birthplace of Goya, was shaken by war and political upheavals. In 1808-m Napoleon's troops invaded Spain, the Spanish people's resistance has been suppressed (this is the painting of Goya "Execution of the rebels on the night of 3 may 1808"), Bonaparte was put on the Spanish throne his brother Joseph. But the French, Goya, distinguished talent for political maneuvering, has managed to maintain its position as a court painter. In 1812 his wife died Goya Josefa but from 1819 on, he retired, settled in a country estate, the QUINTA del Sordo. In early 1820-ies of the Spaniards taking back the crown: ascended to the throne of Ferdinand VII, which begins with the repression of the liberals. Freethinking elderly Goya, who painted another of his grandfather Charles III and father Charles IV and a friend of the liberals-educators Hovelyanosa and Comparecom, the new monarch explicitly States: "Are you worthy of the loop!" The works of Goya immediately starts a lively interest in the restored after the French abolish the Inquisition. Fearing persecution, Goya left for France and settled in Bordeaux. With him as chaperone rides a young woman named Leocadia Weiss – latest love in the life of Goya. Not afraid of difference of years, leocadia threw a wealthy husband to support his widowed old and deaf, but of course ingenious artist. To return home Goya failed. The last years of his life were spent in Bordeaux. It is written there "Thrush".

There were doubts about the authorship of Goya, although the manner of the master and recognizable, and distinctive. Assumed Thrush from Bordeaux under the guidance of Goya could write it and leocadie illegitimate teenage daughter, Maria del Rosario (b. in 1814). Lost a lot of kids from his marriage to Josefow of Bayeux (to adulthood she lived only son Javier), Goya was very fond of Rosarito, to a later happiness, especially, the girl has inherited some artistic ability. In a sense, Goya himself gave occasion to ascribe the picture of the daughter he firmly believed that his artistic genius was reincarnated in her daughter. Delighted Goya wrote one of his friends: "This amazing child and miniature painter wants to learn, and I also wish, as this is what will happen with age, and maybe give the world a great phenomenon. Blinding loving father explained. As well as the understandable desire of researchers to establish the work as "miniature painter" Maria del Rosario: full of graceful humility the image of Thrush from Bordeaux was a good fit for this role.

Anyway, the picture definitely was born in the house of Goya in Bordeaux, and after his death even became the subject of a property dispute between Leocadia, the last companion of Goya, and his son, and rightful heir to Javier, greedy man who was very afraid, as if the inheritance of the father don't have to share with someone else.

The technique of Goya, the painting "the Milkmaid of Bordeaux"

In his work, Goya went through the evolution from the bright colours of the early tapestries to the almost complete monochrome later works. "The milkmaid of Bordeaux" is quite stingy, but generalistas greenish-blue color. It is written in an energetic and sharp movements of the brush, and her jerky discrete brushstrokes anticipate the experiments of the Impressionists. In recent years, Goya has adapted to work not only with a brush but with your fingers or pieces of cloth, which he rubbed liquid paint to the surface of the canvas, which explains the era of Goya's colorful texture.

Goya attention to the transmission of natural light, aerial haze, that surrounds the figure of "Thrush", also gives art historians the reason to say that the artist ingeniously foresaw the technique that will work the Impressionists.

Messagetest of Thrush from Bordeaux and a link to the art of impressionism

The plot of "the Thrush from Bordeaux" is difficult to define: it is too little in it of "speaking" informative details. Classes of the heroine suggests is that the jug of milk labeled "Goya", hiding in the lower left corner. But the "narrative" of the painting looms: where is depicted a yeast infection, what is she doing, where's it going, what is he thinking? It is not clear anything, except that strange pose explainable by the fact that thrush is sitting on a moving donkey or the mule, which for some reason remained outside of the canvas. The plot, as such, no. There is only the mood, however, and it provokes discussion.

Some say: "the Milkmaid of Bordeaux" is full of optimism and joyful sense of returning to life. Because there is no creepy motives Goya in the last decade have painted the walls of QUINTA del Sordo, his "House of the deaf man". No total black color: beige, blue, green, and the whole gamut of breathing atypical for late Goya freshness – almost like it's a ruddy hero. Perhaps after moving from Spain to Bordeaux and lived with the young and favorite Leocadia Weiss, Goya finally managed to overcome the "horrors of war" and once again experienced the exciting fullness of life. These are the arguments of those who see in "the Milkmaid of Bordeaux" joy. They suggest that Goya could paint the thrush with leocadia.

Others feel "the Milkmaid of Bordeaux" anxiety – and also not without reason. Say, threatening black and blue sky here – like just about ready to break out the storm, and the character is so dark and brooding that what really is there to celebrate?

But the obvious lack of plot was an additional reason to call a painting in the number of predecessors of impressionism – art, do not bet on narration and narrative structure, and the transfer of immediate impressions. The French writer théophile Gauthier once, eyeing the Milkmaid of Bordeaux, said of its author, Francisco Goya, these words: "Renoir not yet born, and the master of impressionism already have.

Author: Anna Yesterday
Digital copy: 2148 × 2394 px
68 × 74 cm • 80 dpi • JPEG
36.4 × 40.5 cm • 150 dpi • JPEG
18.2 × 20.3 cm • 300 dpi • JPEG
Digital copy is a high resolution file, downloaded by the artist or artist's representative. The price also includes the right for a single reproduction of the artwork in digital or printed form.
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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Portrait, Genre scene

Style of art: Romanticism

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1827

Size: 74×68 cm

Artwork in selections: 49 selections


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