The Forge Francisco de Goya Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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The Forge is an artwork created by Francisco De Goya in 1817. Some sources also say that the painter did the oil and canvas piece from 1815 to 1820. Generally, viewers can see three men working as blacksmiths on an anvil.

He painted it with some vigorous brushstrokes and, in realism, showed what goes on at the blacksmith's. The painting shows the men's muscularity with thick, strong, massive arms and masculine backs dedicated to their work. They are seen to be hitting a blazing red of heated metal in the middle. Not only is this a heroic art but also a descriptive painting of how men work. According to critics, the court painter was sensitive to common men's plight and aimed to capture their day to day activities and what they do to put food on the table. Their fierce concentration can be seen as they dedicate their might to the red hot iron. In another painting, The Knifegrinder, he emphasised the dignity of the work done by men.

The painting focuses on three men at work on a blacksmith's anvil. The man on the left crouches behind the anvil, facing towards the front side, and uses a pair of tongs to hold items steady on the anvil. He is dressed in black the second man, who is the centre of the painting, is dressed in a white shirt with rolled-up sleeves and has his back to the audience. His left legging has dropped around his ankle, revealing his visibly healthy leg calf. He is holding a sledgehammer and directs it on top of his head, ready to drop it on the anvil. The third man, seemingly older than the other two, bends over the anvil. His figure is only visible to a small degree, and a viewer cannot be sure about what he is doing.

On the floor, viewers can notice shades of greys and dark. The background is dark-themed, and nothing much is going on. Since The Forge painting was not commissioned from Goya, it was never sold. His son inherited it when he died. However, the French King acquired it and put it in the Louvre for the show to the general public until 1851. He did this work during his last years, and it turned out to be a heritage for many viewers. It is easy to interpret and shows the masculinity of men. Today, the art is owned by the Frick Museum of Art in New York. Reputable providers reproduce it, and people worldwide continue to celebrate Goya's work.

The Forge in Detail Francisco de Goya