Francisco de Goya

The Hurricane (El huracán)

Datos Generales
Ca. 1808 - 1812
Work lost
73 x 100 cm
Técnica y soporte
Oil on canvas
Reconocimiento de la autoría de Goya
Undisputed work
Ficha: realización/revisión
16 May 2010 / 06 Mar 2012

In 1868, Mariano Goya claimed to have seen his grandfather painting this work "with thin reeds, split open at the end".

It was destroyed in the fire at the Buenos Aires Jockey Club in 1956. A reproduction of the work had been made in 1928, together with an indication of its dimensions.

Análisis artístico

The inscription "X.28" that appears in this painting ties it to three others by Goya which are all mentioned in the inventory made in 1812, following the death of Goya's wife.

A group of figures, painted very sketchily and in very soft tones, can be seen in the centre of the composition, fleeing from the hurricane that is approaching from the back of the scene. The incisions used to depict the violent winds of the hurricane appear to have been made with the edge of a spatula, or perhaps with split reeds, just as Mariano Goya had indicated.

The theme of disaster was a popular one, especially during the second half of the 18th century (see Fire in a Hospital). To a large degree, the way in which Goya handled this theme at the time heralded the arrival of the spirit of Romanticism, which cast serious doubt on the infallibility of enlightened thinking. Disasters, with their ability to upset our sense of order, produce in the human mind an uncontrollable feeling of chaos, provoking both terror and, simultaneously, fascination (see The Fire, The Shipwreck, and Fire in a Hospital).

  • L'œuvre peint de Goya. 4 vols
    Xavier Desparmet Fitz-Gerald
    p. 279, cat. 256
  • Vie et ouvre de Francisco de Goya
    Juliet Wilson and Pierre Gassier
    p. 265, cat. 950
    Office du livre
  • Goya, 1746 – 1828. Biografía, estudio analítico y catálogo de sus pinturas, 4 vols.
    José Gudiol
    vol. I, pp. 356 y 357, cat. 613
  • L’opera pittorica completa di Goya
    Rita de Angelis
    p. 125, cat. 52
Enlaces externos
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