The death of Daoíz in Monteleón Artillery Ground

Leonardo Alenza1835

Museo Nacional del Romanticismo

Museo Nacional del Romanticismo
Madrid, Spain

Except those painted by Goya, this picture is the first known concerning the events happened on 2 May 1808 in Madrid, despite the importance that early stages of the Peninsular War had for its subsequent development. It was painted by Leonardo Alenza twenty seven years later, in 1835, and two years after the death of Fernando VII, at the height of the Carlist War, which forced to extend the agreement between the Crown and liberalism. In this context, the Academy of San Fernando carried out an official commission of an historical painting (for its annual exhibition) on the conflict of 2 May 1808, a fundamental reference for Spanish nationalism. / Alenza received the commission and he based his work in previous prints about the Madrid conflict. He focused the dramatic intensity on three characters: the Spanish military hero, the anonymous heroine and the evil French general, being the true symbolic subject of the painting the ideas of betrayal and deceit that the French people infringed to the country of Spain. / Considering that Alenza wanted to please the Academy, it is surprising his use of such a dark colour range, especially because the represented events took place in broad daylight. That is the evidence of Goya’s prints influence.


  • Title: The death of Daoíz in Monteleón Artillery Ground
  • Creator: Leonardo Alenza
  • Date Created: 1835
  • Location Created: Spain
  • Physical Dimensions: w210 x h126 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Museo Nacional del Romanticismo
  • External Link: CERES
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Signature: Leonardo Alenza 1835
  • Cultural Context: Spanish Romanticism

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