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Masked dance or Masked dancers under an arch

Masked dance or Masked dancers under an arch

Technical details

  • Author Francisco de Goya y Lucientes
  • Title Masked dance or Masked dancers under an arch
  • Timeline c. 1815
  • Technique Oil on canvas


Masked dance or Masked dancers under an arch, painted in 1815 or shortly before, is one of the small pieces in which Goya reflected the whimsical inventions or caprichos (caprices) that emerged from both his imagination and his critical view of reality. Four dancers, two men in Carnival costumes and two women dressed with aristocratic elegance, dance under what appears to be the arch of a bridge. They are painted with spontaneous and light brushstrokes. In the darkness to the left a number of poor people are sitting on the ground; they have obviously made a home for themselves under the bridge. They form a night and day contrast with the group dancing with a festive mood; it seems that Carnival is unable to release the poor from their misfortune and sorrows.

Location in the museum

You may find this artwork on  Floor 2 Goya Hall