Login | Users Online: 1066  
Home Print this page Email this page Small font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size   
Home | About us | Editorial board | Search | Ahead of print | Current Issue | Archives | Submit article | Instructions | Subscribe | Advertise | Contact us
 


 
ART AND MEDICINE
Year : 2008  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 172-173 Table of Contents     

Old Age


Date of Web Publication17-Jun-2010

Correspondence Address:
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


Rights and PermissionsRights and Permissions

How to cite this article:
. Old Age. Heart Views 2008;9:172-3

How to cite this URL:
. Old Age. Heart Views [serial online] 2008 [cited 2019 Nov 20];9:172-3. Available from: http://www.heartviews.org/text.asp?2008/9/4/172/63858

Artist : Francisco de Goya (1746-1828)

Art Form : Brush and ink

Summary : An old man stands alone, accompanied only by his shadow. His bent body caves under some unknown force, and the man tries his best to remain upright by relying on two canes, one held in each hand. Facing to the front left of the paper, the old man appears to be on his way to some destination; his feet are not drawn with any suggestion of movement, however, and so it appears that despite his intentions, the old man cannot accomplish the simple goal of walking.

Beneath the illustration read the words that constitute the artwork's title: "He Can No Longer at the Age of 98." The vagueness of the text's meaning allows the viewer to indulge a multitude of imaginings of what specifically the man can no longer do - he cannot walk, cannot function, cannot survive independently, he cannot do most anything. Drawn and painted without color, Goya's lonely and impotent old man offers a bleak outlook on severe old age.

Commentary : This artwork, created 1819-23, was made near the end of Goya's life (1746-1828). A highly capable and well-respected man, Goya was the leading Spanish painter and etcher of the late 18th century. He functioned as court painter to Charles III, Charles IV and Ferdinand VII of Spain. After a severe illness, he became deaf in 1792. In 1824, Goya retired into hermitage in Bordeaux, France, dying four years later.

Although the old man depicted in this artwork is significantly older than Goya was at the time of his painting - in 1819 Goya was 73 - it nevertheless seems clear that a great deal of introspection fuels the sadness and powerlessness of this image. The artwork raises powerful questions of how one should deal with the inevitable decline in abilities brought on by old age. What effect on the self-image does aging and decrepitude have, even for those in society like Goya who have secured their place in history? How can one age to the point of total frailty yet retain one's happiness and joie de vivre?

Location of Original: J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles Annotated by Bertman, Sandra L.




 

Top
 
  Search
 
    Similar in PUBMED
    Access Statistics
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

 
  In this article

 Article Access Statistics
    Viewed655    
    Printed49    
    Emailed0    
    PDF Downloaded56    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal