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The 3rd of May, 1808: The Executions on Principe Pio Hill

  • ‘The 3rd of May 1808 or The Executions on Principe Pio Hill’ © Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado

    ‘The 3rd of May 1808 or The Executions on Principe Pio Hill’ © Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado

     
  

Category

Painting

Date

1814

Original title

El tres de mayo de 1808, o Los fusilamientos en la montaña del Príncipe Pío
Prado Museum
Madrid
Madrid
Madrid

This depiction of the executions emphasises the atmosphere of drama and tension through the use of light which highlights the gestures of the heroes of the uprising.

The work illustrates the executions by Napoleon's army in retaliation for the uprising of 2 May 1808 against the French forces of occupation.

The intense illumination of the heroes of the rebellion offers a detailed psychological study, and enables their attitudes and characters to be clearly differentiated.

The work was commissioned by the regent Don Luis in 1814 together with its pair “The 2nd of May, 1808 in Madrid: The charge of the Mamelukes”. Both may have been used to decorate a triumphal arch during Ferdinand VII’s entrance into the city.

On the lower left-hand side there are traces of the damage it suffered during its move to Valencia in 1937, during the Spanish Civil War.
 

Details of the work

Origin
Royal Collection

Object
Painting

Dimensions
268 cm x 347 cm

Technique
Oil

Material
Canvas

  

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