The Strolling Players

Francisco Goya
Keywords: StrollingPlayers

Work Overview

The Strolling Players
Francisco Goya
Original Title: Cómicos ambulantes
Date: 1793
Style: Romanticism
Genre: genre painting
Media: oil, canvas
Dimensions: 32 x 43 cm
Location: Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain

Goya's works on tin plate have highly diverse characteristics. Besides tragical scenes and allegories, they include anecdotal themes such as the Strolling Players.

This popular scene painted with great technical freedom shows an improvised stage surrounded by people in the midst of a landscape. The piece being played is a satire from the Italian Commedia dell´ Arte. The main characters appear on stage: Arlecchino, Columbina and Pantalone. A poster at the front of the stage reads “Alec Men” (“Menandrian Allegory”). This work belonged to a series of twelve scenes, six of bulls and six on varied subjects, which the painer made following his grave illness of 1783, when he lost his hearing. As these works were not commissioned, Goya was able to paint with greater freedom. He presented the series at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando in January 1794.