Friday, February 12, 2016

Portrait of King Ferdinand VII of Spain (1814)

Title: Portrait of Ferdinand VII
Artist: Francisco Goya
Date: 1814-1815

Brought by the Museo del Prado, Ferdinand VII in Court Dress by Francisco Goya (1814-1815) shows King Ferdinand VII shortly after he had taken the throne. Goya was able to masterly capture the King's regal attire and showcase him as a powerful monarch. King Ferdinand VII's expression is almost distrustful as if he is wary of how Goya is actually painting him on the canvas while he poses9. Goya however could have painted the King with a distrustful face to symbolize how the King must have felt after having taken the throne. In 1815, King Ferdinand VII abolished the constitution and became and absolutist king. Goya may have been well aware of how tightly the King wanted to hold on to power, and almost like a premonition, knew he was distrustful on his subjects. The King would later start ruling with an iron fist. He would try to imprison or kill any liberal in Spain, and at one time this included Goya as a target. The King, being fearful of losing his power, treated the subjects so poorly that many left in exile. King Ferdinand VII became a tyrant king that was loved by very few. Later his people had revolted against him in reaction to his abuse of power. 

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