When Goya’s famous painting is recreated in photography
Born in Madrid, the Spanish photographer Eugenio Recuenco who dedicated 8 years to complete his 365º project has presented many of his homeland’s intriguing stories ranging from an Olympic gold medalist, a sweet memory of summertime in Spain to a homage to Salvador Dali, the world-famous compatriot artist.

Francisco Goya is a highly celebrated Spanish artist of Romanticism art movement whose work has deeply inspired Recuenco in reinterpreting The Third of May 1808 into a narrative photography of his 365-day diary.

Like Pablo Picasso’s Guernica and its tragic story in response to the bombing by Nazi Germany, The Third of May 1808, a large-scaled painting created by Goya in 1814, described the Spanish uprising against the French occupation led by Napoleon I (Napoleon Bonaparte) who attempted to take control of Spain because of the access to the Mediterranean Sea. Joseph Bonaparte, Napoleon’s elder brother, soon became a king of Spain after the invasion.

The inspiring story of this anti-war painting took place at dawn of 3 May 1808 when Spaniards who fought for the liberation were massacred by French soldiers. Goya painted it six years after this mournful day and it had been questioned whether the artist himself had witnessed the event. If so, Goya was likened to a daring journalist who risked his life  to capture a historic moment when camera was not yet invented.

In art, this dramatic painting is an archetype that depicts the horror of war evidenced by a typical laborer in white shirt with rolled up sleeves. Despite his fear, he who was raising his hands was brave enough to risk being killed. Goya has been known as a crusader in the Romanticism movement with thematic stories about injustice, wars and death just like what we see in Raft of the Medusa (1818-1819) by Théodore Géricault and Liberty Leading the People (1830) by Eugène Delacroix.

The Third of May 1808 is however distinguished from these masterpieces since Goya opposed traditional composition and esthetics.

Simply put, it is thought provoking that the Spanish photographer Eugenio Recuenco chose to reinterpret this romantic painting by lending his talent in photography. Its intriguing stories and profound emotion still resonate well in this alternative medium of presentation.

Take a closer look inside 365º exhibition after the lockdown and you might discover how “A picture is worth a thousand words”

Online tickets now available at

If you would like to know more about Goya, the Gallery Shop presents a book, This is Goya. Shop now via our online stores at Shopee  or
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