Francisco de Goya, The Dog (Perro semihundido)

Museo del Prado, Madrid

Date: 1820 - 1823
Technique: Mixed technique on wall, 131 x 79 cm

The scene is quite simple: the head of a dog is sticking out of a ditch, it seems to be looking at something to the right and slightly higher up, but there is nothing there - even though one historian has suggested some birds fluttering around; behind the dog there is an undefined space.
X-ray studies of this work have made it possible to discover that of all the Black Paintings this is the one that suffered most when it was transferred to canvas. Goya may have left this work unfinished - although we cannot be sure in this respect - but his imagery is no less effective, whatever the damage. It has become an emblematic image for modern art, in its darkest and most anguish-ridden aspects. (Valeriano Bozal, Goya-Black Paintings)


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