GOYA Y LUCIENTES, Francisco de
(b. 1746, Fuendetodos, d. 1828, Bordeaux)

The Colossus

Oil on canvas, 120 x 100 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid

The painting sometimes is also called Panic.

The giant is shown standing, his fists clenched for battle. The landscape is full of streams of people fleeing with their cattle.The painting makes it clear that mankind is dominated by fate, a force between heaven and earth. The demonic element, that has power over the earth, is depicted like a dream. Goya is basically using a Baroque device, allegory. He just makes the painting difficult to interpret, for we do not know whether the figure is intended to be a personification of revolution itself, of mankind exploding in rage, or its opposite, danger taking on visionary form.