manet and the execution of maximilian
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Francisco de Goya's The Third of May, 1808, which Manet undoubtedly saw in 1865 on a visit to the Museo del Prado in Madrid, and which was reproduced in a book as a wood engraving in 1867, would inform the basic compositional elements of the Execution of Maximilian series. The horizontal placement of the figures, the direction of the firing squad, and the position of the victims on the left remain consistent throughout all five of Manet's works.

 

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manet and the execution of maximilian
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Francisco de Goya y Lucientes. The Third of May, 1808. 1814. Oil on canvas, 8' 9 1/2" x 11' 4 5/8" (268 x 347 cm). Museo del Prado, Madrid. © Scala / Art Resource, NY

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manet and the execution of maximilian
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Copyright 2006 by the Museum of Modern Art