This work by José Aparicio is the most famous of all the pictures painted during the reign of Ferdinand VII and the most widely distributed throughout the kingdom at the time. More than a history painting, the canvas is an allegory of the dramatic situation of hunger that the town of Madrid endured during the Napoleonic occupation of 1811 and 1812. The image shows how some French soldiers, the face of one of whom is depicted in a fierce manner, offer food to a group of emaciated Madrileños. Next to the pilaster is an inscription in gold letters proclaiming the loyalty of the people of Madrid to their king. Others are eating peanuts and leftovers, while behind the main group, a handsome man with broad sideburns and a bicorn rushes towards the soldiers, held back by his wife who is carrying their baby in her arms.
Project: 4. Family, daily life and social inequality in Europe.
Scope: Secondary Education, Baccalaureate, University
Resource type: Image
Format: Oil on canvas (315 x 437 cm)
Source: Museo del Prado (Madrid)
Owner: Álvaro Romero González (Modernalia)
Copyright: Museo del Prado (Madrid)
Abstract: Scene alluding to the year of the famine in Madrid during the reign of Ferdinand VIIImage