Francisco de Goya then moved to paint cartoon design for the royal tapestry factory in Madrid from 1775 to 1792, which was considered as the most important phase in de Goya’s artistic development. This exposure as a tapestry designer provided the experience for de Goya to paint genre paintings or paintings derived from everyday life. It made him a keen observer of everyday behaviour of people which served as the technical foundation for him to paint his later renowned works such as First of May which was a social commentary about peasant’s uprising against French occupation in Spain (www.franciscodegoya.net, 2014). He was also an avid follower of the works of Velazquez that influenced his looser and more spontaneous painting technique.
Later, Francisco de Goya explored his method by learning neoclassicism which was gaining popularity over the rococo style during his time. He then became a established portrait painter to the Spanish monarchy where he was elected to the Royal Academy of San Fernando in 1780, named as painter of the king 1786 and a court painter in 1789 (www.franciscodegoya.net, 2014). As a court painter, Goya was fashionable painter and high society portraitist. During the height of his success, De Goya was not only a fashionable court painter but also an advocate of justice and a staunch supporter for ending the war. He is considered as a social recorder of his countrymen’s struggle and travails whose style was associated with “anciens regimes” or the “first of the moderns” (Web Gallery of Art, nd).
Francisco de Goya’s The Third of May 1808 is his most known artwork. It featured a peasant being shot by a soldier in the middle of a night. It was intentionally painted with the face of the executioner kept to be anonymous to highlight the drama of innocent civilian that was about to be executed. In this particular work, the artistry was