Friday, February 12, 2016

Portrait of Manuel Godoy, Duke of Alcudia, 'Prince of the Peace'

Title: Portrait of Manuel Godoy, Duke of Alcudia, 'Prince of the Peace'
Artist: Francisco Goya
Date: 1801

Francisco Goya's portrait of Manuel Godoy is brought from the Museo del Prado. The portrait, Manuel Godoy, Duke of Alcudia (1801), is a depiction of Manuel Godoy sitting outside with what appears to be his military regiment. Manuel Godoy was an important figure in Spain at the time. He had served as the prime minister however he had led Spain to many disasters, including the French Invasion of 1808. Godoy sits with an air of dignity and power, even though Godoy was not popular with the Spanish people. The military regiment behind Godoy highlights Godoy's power and authority. However, this portrait is not traditional of portraits of military leaders and nobility. Godoy is in a really relaxed position, with an almost smug expression on his face. The background is dark and bleak, possibly highlighting the disasters Godoy had brought to Spain. The air around Godoy looks as though there is smoke from cannon fire which could possibly mean that a battle had just taken place. If that were so it is interesting to see that Godoy is sitting down instead of leading his army. Unfortunately, the Spanish monarchy has trust Godoy too greatly and gave him too much power which he abused. The love of power and also Godoy's greed is what led to the French Invasion of 1808. Godoy had not cared what was best for the people of Spain and therefore was force to live in exile after the French Invasion. 

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