Francisco Goya
Overview
 
Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (30 March 1746 – 16 April 1828) was a Spanish romantic
Romanticism
Romanticism was an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe, and gained strength in reaction to the Industrial Revolution...

 painter and printmaker
Printmaking
Printmaking is the process of making artworks by printing, normally on paper. Printmaking normally covers only the process of creating prints with an element of originality, rather than just being a photographic reproduction of a painting. Except in the case of monotyping, the process is capable...

 regarded both as the last of the Old Master
Old Master
"Old Master" is a term for a European painter of skill who worked before about 1800, or a painting by such an artist. An "old master print" is an original print made by an artist in the same period...

s and the first of the moderns. Goya was a court painter to the Spanish Crown, and through his works was both a commentator on and chronicler of his era. The subversive and imaginative element in his art, as well as his bold handling of paint, provided a model for the work of later generations of artists, notably Manet
Édouard Manet
Édouard Manet was a French painter. One of the first 19th-century artists to approach modern-life subjects, he was a pivotal figure in the transition from Realism to Impressionism....

, Picasso
Pablo Picasso
Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso known as Pablo Ruiz Picasso was a Spanish expatriate painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer, one of the greatest and most influential artists of the...

 and Francis Bacon.
Goya was born in Fuendetodos, Aragón
Aragon
Aragon is a modern autonomous community in Spain, coextensive with the medieval Kingdom of Aragon. Located in northeastern Spain, the Aragonese autonomous community comprises three provinces : Huesca, Zaragoza, and Teruel. Its capital is Zaragoza...

, Spain, in 1746 to José Benito de Goya y Franque and Gracia de Lucientes y Salvador.
Quotations

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos.

The sleep of reason produces monsters.

Encyclopedia
Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (30 March 1746 – 16 April 1828) was a Spanish romantic
Romanticism
Romanticism was an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe, and gained strength in reaction to the Industrial Revolution...

 painter and printmaker
Printmaking
Printmaking is the process of making artworks by printing, normally on paper. Printmaking normally covers only the process of creating prints with an element of originality, rather than just being a photographic reproduction of a painting. Except in the case of monotyping, the process is capable...

 regarded both as the last of the Old Master
Old Master
"Old Master" is a term for a European painter of skill who worked before about 1800, or a painting by such an artist. An "old master print" is an original print made by an artist in the same period...

s and the first of the moderns. Goya was a court painter to the Spanish Crown, and through his works was both a commentator on and chronicler of his era. The subversive and imaginative element in his art, as well as his bold handling of paint, provided a model for the work of later generations of artists, notably Manet
Édouard Manet
Édouard Manet was a French painter. One of the first 19th-century artists to approach modern-life subjects, he was a pivotal figure in the transition from Realism to Impressionism....

, Picasso
Pablo Picasso
Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso known as Pablo Ruiz Picasso was a Spanish expatriate painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer, one of the greatest and most influential artists of the...

 and Francis Bacon.

Early years

Goya was born in Fuendetodos, Aragón
Aragon
Aragon is a modern autonomous community in Spain, coextensive with the medieval Kingdom of Aragon. Located in northeastern Spain, the Aragonese autonomous community comprises three provinces : Huesca, Zaragoza, and Teruel. Its capital is Zaragoza...

, Spain, in 1746 to José Benito de Goya y Franque and Gracia de Lucientes y Salvador. He spent his childhood in Fuendetodos, where his family lived in a house bearing the family crest of his mother. His father earned his living as a gilder
Gilding
The term gilding covers a number of decorative techniques for applying fine gold leaf or powder to solid surfaces such as wood, stone, or metal to give a thin coating of gold. A gilded object is described as "gilt"...

. About 1749, the family bought a house in the city of Zaragoza
Zaragoza
Zaragoza , also called Saragossa in English, is the capital city of the Zaragoza Province and of the autonomous community of Aragon, Spain...

 and some years later moved into it. Goya may have attended school at Escuelas Pias. He formed a close friendship with Martin Zapater at this time, and their correspondence from the 1770s to the 1790s is a valuable source for understanding Goya's early career at the court of Madrid. At age 14, Goya entered apprenticeship with the painter José Luzán. He moved to Madrid where he studied with Anton Raphael Mengs
Anton Raphael Mengs
Anton Raphael Mengs was a German painter, active in Rome, Madrid and Saxony, who became one of the precursors to Neoclassical painting.- Biography :Mengs was born in 1728 at Ústí nad Labem in Bohemia...

, a painter who was popular with Spanish royalty. He clashed with his master, and his examinations were unsatisfactory. Goya submitted entries for the Royal Academy of Fine Art
Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando
The Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando , located on the Calle de Alcalá in the heart of Madrid, currently functions as a museum and gallery....

 in 1763 and 1766, but was denied entrance.

He then relocated to Rome, where in 1771 he won second prize in a painting competition organized by the City of Parma
Parma
Parma is a city in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna famous for its ham, its cheese, its architecture and the fine countryside around it. This is the home of the University of Parma, one of the oldest universities in the world....

. Later that year, he returned to Zaragoza and painted parts of the cupolas of the Basilica of the Pillar
Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar
The Basilica-Cathedral of Our Lady of the Pillar is a Roman Catholic church in the city of Zaragoza, Aragon, Spain. The Basilica venerates Blessed Virgin Mary, under her title Our Lady of the Pillar praised as Mother of the Hispanic Peoples by Pope John Paul II...

 (including Adoration of the Name of God
Adoration of the Name of God
The Adoration of the Name of God or The Glory is a fresco painted by Francisco Goya on the ceiling of the cupola over the Small Choir of the Virgin in the Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar in Zaragoza.-History:...

), a cycle of frescoes
Frescoes in the Cartuja de Aula Dei
The Frescoes in the Cartuja de Aula Dei are a cycle of frescoes or mural paintings on the Life of the Virgin by Francisco de Goya, realised in secco , in the church of the Charterhouse of Aula Dei near Peñaflor de Gállego on the outskirts of Zaragoza, Aragon, Spain.-History:After his return from...

 in the monastic church of the Charterhouse of Aula Dei
Charterhouse of Aula Dei
The Charterhouse of Aula Dei is a Carthusian monastery, or charterhouse, located about 10 kilometers north of the city of Zaragoza in Aragon, north-western Spain. It was declared a national monument on 16 February 1983....

, and the frescoes of the Sobradiel Palace. He studied with Francisco Bayeu y Subías
Francisco Bayeu y Subías
Francisco Bayeu y Subias was a Spanish painter, active in a Neoclassic style, whose main subjects were religious and historical themes....

 and his painting began to show signs of the delicate tonalities for which he became famous.
Goya married Bayeu's sister Josefa
Josefa Bayeu
Josefa Bayeu was the sister of artist Francisco Bayeu and wife of artist Francisco Goya. The artworks below are by Goya....

 (he nicknamed her "Pepa") on 25 July 1773. This marriage, and Francisco Bayeu's membership of the Royal Academy of Fine Art
Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando
The Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando , located on the Calle de Alcalá in the heart of Madrid, currently functions as a museum and gallery....

 (from the year 1765) helped Goya to procure work as a painter of designs to be woven by Royal Tapestry Factory. There, over the course of five years, he designed some 42 patterns, many of which were used to decorate (and insulate) the bare stone walls of El Escorial
El Escorial
The Royal Seat of San Lorenzo de El Escorial is a historical residence of the king of Spain, in the town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, about 45 kilometres northwest of the capital, Madrid, in Spain. It is one of the Spanish royal sites and functions as a monastery, royal palace, museum, and...

 and the Palacio Real del Pardo, the newly built residences of the Spanish monarchs near Madrid. This brought his artistic talents to the attention of the Spanish monarchs who later would give him access to the royal court. He also painted a canvas for the altar of the Church of San Francisco El Grande
San Francisco el Grande Basilica, Madrid
The Royal Basilica of San Francisco el Grande is a Roman Catholic church in central Madrid, Spain, located in the Barrio of La Latina. The main façade faces the Plaza of San Francisco, at the intersection of Bailén, the Gran Vía de san Francisco, and the Carrera de san Francisco...

 in Madrid, which led to his appointment as a member of the Royal Academy of Fine Art
Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando
The Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando , located on the Calle de Alcalá in the heart of Madrid, currently functions as a museum and gallery....

.

Mid-career

In 1783, the Count of Floridablanca
José Moñino y Redondo, conde de Floridablanca
José Moñino y Redondo, Count of Floridablanca , Spanish statesman. He was the reformist chief minister of King Charles III of Spain, and also served briefly under Charles IV. He was arguably Spain's most effective statesman in the eighteenth century...

, a favorite of King Carlos III
Charles III of Spain
Charles III was the King of Spain and the Spanish Indies from 1759 to 1788. He was the eldest son of Philip V of Spain and his second wife, the Princess Elisabeth Farnese...

, commissioned Goya to paint his portrait. He also became friends with Crown Prince Don Luis, and spent two summers with him, painting portraits of both the Infante and his family. During the 1780s, his circle of patrons grew to include the Duke and Duchess of Osuna, whom he painted, the King and other notable people of the kingdom. In 1786, Goya was given a salaried position as painter to Charles III. After the death of Charles III in 1788 and revolution in France
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

 in 1789, during the reign of Charles IV
Charles IV of Spain
Charles IV was King of Spain from 14 December 1788 until his abdication on 19 March 1808.-Early life:...

, Goya reached his peak of popularity with royalty.

In 1789 he was made court painter to Charles IV and in 1799 he was appointed First Court Painter with a salary of 50,000 reales
Spanish real
The real was a unit of currency in Spain for several centuries after the mid-14th century, but changed in value relative to other units introduced...

 and 500 ducat
Ducat
The ducat is a gold coin that was used as a trade coin throughout Europe before World War I. Its weight is 3.4909 grams of .986 gold, which is 0.1107 troy ounce, actual gold weight...

s for a coach. He painted the King and the Queen, royal family pictures, portraits of the Prince of the Peace
Manuel de Godoy
Don Manuel Francisco Domingo de Godoy y Álvarez de Faria, de los Ríos y Sánchez-Zarzosa, also Manuel de Godoy y Álvarez de Faria de los Ríos Sánchez Zarzosa , was Prime Minister of Spain from 1792 to 1797 and from 1801 to 1808...

 and many other nobles. His portraits are notable for their disinclination to flatter, and in the case of Charles IV of Spain and His Family
Charles IV of Spain and His Family
Carlos IV of Spain and His Family is an oil on canvas painting by the Spanish artist Francisco Goya completed in the summer of 1800. It features life sized depictions of Charles IV of Spain and his family, ostentatiously dressed in fine costume and jewellery...

, the lack of visual diplomacy is remarkable. Modern interpreters have seen this portrait as satire; it is thought to reveal the corruption present under Charles IV. Under his reign his wife Louisa was thought to have had the real power, which is why she is placed at the center of the group portrait. From the back left of the painting you can see the artist himself looking out at the viewer, and the painting behind the family depicts Lot and his daughters, thus once again echoing the underlying message of corruption and decay.

Goya received orders from many within the Spanish nobility
Spanish nobility
Spanish nobles are persons who possess the legal status of hereditary nobility according to the laws and traditions of the Spanish monarchy. A system of titles and honours of Spain and of the former kingdoms that constitute it comprise the Spanish nobility...

. Among those from whom he procured portrait commissions were Pedro Téllez-Girón, 9th Duke of Osuna and his wife María Josefa Pimentel, 12th Countess-Duchess of Benavente, María del Pilar de Silva, 13th Duchess of Alba (universally known simply as the "Duchess of Alba"), and her husband José María Álvarez de Toledo, 15th Duke of Medina Sidonia, and María Ana de Pontejos y Sandoval, Marchioness of Pontejos
María Ana de Pontejos y Sandoval, Marchioness of Pontejos
Doña María Ana de Pontejos y Sandoval, Marchioness of Pontejos was a patron of the artist Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes...

.

At some time between late 1792 and early 1793, a serious illness, whose exact nature is not known, left Goya deaf, and he became withdrawn and introspective. During his recuperation, he undertook a series of experimental paintings. His experimental art—that would encompass paintings, drawings as well as a bitter series of aquatint
Aquatint
Aquatint is an intaglio printmaking technique, a variant of etching.Intaglio printmaking makes marks on the matrix that are capable of holding ink. The inked plate is passed through a printing press together with a sheet of paper, resulting in a transfer of the ink to the paper...

ed etching
Etching
Etching is the process of using strong acid or mordant to cut into the unprotected parts of a metal surface to create a design in intaglio in the metal...

s, published in 1799 under the title Caprichos – was done in parallel to his more official commissions of portraits and religious paintings. In 1798, he painted luminous and airy scenes for the pendentive
Pendentive
A pendentive is a constructive device permitting the placing of a circular dome over a square room or an elliptical dome over a rectangular room. The pendentives, which are triangular segments of a sphere, taper to points at the bottom and spread at the top to establish the continuous circular or...

s and cupula of the Real Ermita (Chapel) of San Antonio de la Florida in Madrid. Many place miracles of Saint Anthony of Padua in the midst of contemporary Madrid.

Later years

French forces invaded Spain in 1808, leading to the Peninsular War
Peninsular War
The Peninsular War was a war between France and the allied powers of Spain, the United Kingdom, and Portugal for control of the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars. The war began when French and Spanish armies crossed Spain and invaded Portugal in 1807. Then, in 1808, France turned on its...

 of 1808–1814. Goya's involvement with the court of the "Intruder king", Joseph I, the brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, is not known; he did paint works for French patrons and sympathisers, but kept neutral during the fighting. After the restoration of the Spanish king, Ferdinand VII, in 1814, Goya denied any involvement with the French. When his wife Josefa died in 1812, he was processing the war by painting The Charge of the Mamelukes and The Third of May 1808
The Third of May 1808
The Third of May 1808 is a painting completed in 1814 by the Spanish painter Francisco Goya, now in the Museo del Prado, Madrid. In the work, Goya sought to commemorate Spanish resistance to Napoleon's armies during the occupation of 1808...

, and preparing the series of prints later known as The Disasters of War
The Disasters of War
The Disasters of War are a series of 8280 prints in the first published edition , for which the last two plates were not available. See "Execution". prints created between 1810 and 1820 by the Spanish painter and printmaker Francisco Goya...

 (Los desastres de la guerra). Ferdinand VII returned to Spain in 1814 but relations with Goya were not cordial. He painted portraits of the kings for a variety of organizations, but not for the king himself.

Leocadia Weiss (ne Zorrilla, b. 1790) the artist's maid, younger by 35 years, and distant relative, lived with and cared for Goya after Bayeu's death. She stayed with him in his Quinta del Sordo
Black Paintings
The Black Paintings is the name given to a group of paintings by Francisco Goya from the later years of his life, likely between 1819–1823. They portray intense, haunting themes, reflective of both his fear of insanity and by then, his bleak outlook on humanity...

 villa until 1824 with her daughter Rosario. Leocadia was probably similar in features to Goya's first wife Josefa Bayeu, to the extent that one of his well known portraits bears the cautious title of Josefa Bayeu (or Leocadia Weiss).
Not much is known about her beyond her fiery temperament. She was likely related to the Goicoechea family, a wealthy dynasty into which the artist's son, the feckless Javier, had married. It is believed she held liberal political views and was unafraid of expressing them, a fact met with disapproval by Goya's family. It is known that Leocadia had an unhappy marriage with a jeweler, Isideo Weiss, but was separated from him since 1811. Her husband cited "illicit conduct" during the divorce proceedings. She had two children before the marriage dissolved, and bore a third, Rosario, in 1814 when she was 26. Isideo was not the father, and it has often been speculated– although with little firm evidence –that the child belonged to Goya. There has been much speculation that Goya and Weiss were romantically linked, however, it is more likely the affection between them was sentimental.
Goya's works from 1814 to 1819 are mostly commissioned portraits, but also include the altarpiece of Santa Justa and Santa Rufina for the Cathedral of Seville
Seville Cathedral
The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See , better known as Seville Cathedral, is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Seville . It is the largest Gothic cathedral and the third-largest church in the world....

, the print series of "La Tauromaquia" depicting scenes from bullfighting
Bullfighting
Bullfighting is a traditional spectacle of Spain, Portugal, southern France and some Latin American countries , in which one or more bulls are baited in a bullring for sport and entertainment...

, and probably the etchings of "Los Disparates
Los disparates
Los disparates or Los proverbios is a probably-incomplete series of engravings in aquatint and etching, with retouching in drypoint and burin. It was produced by Francisco de Goya between 1815 and 1823....

".

In 1819, with the idea of isolating himself, he bought a country house by the Manzanares river just outside of Madrid. It was known as the Quinta del Sordo (roughly, "House of the Deaf Man", titled after its previous owner and not after Goya himself). There he created the Black Paintings
Black Paintings
The Black Paintings is the name given to a group of paintings by Francisco Goya from the later years of his life, likely between 1819–1823. They portray intense, haunting themes, reflective of both his fear of insanity and by then, his bleak outlook on humanity...

 with intense, haunting themes, reflective of the artist's fear of insanity, and his outlook on humanity. Several of these, including Saturn Devouring His Son
Saturn Devouring His Son
Saturn Devouring His Son is the name given to a painting by Spanish artist Francisco Goya. It depicts the Greek myth of the Titan Cronus , who, fearing that he would be overthrown by his children, ate each one upon their birth...

, were painted directly onto the walls of his dining and sitting rooms.

Goya lost faith in or became threatened by the restored Spanish monarchy's anti-liberal political and social stance and left Spain in May 1824 for Bordeaux
Bordeaux
Bordeaux is a port city on the Garonne River in the Gironde department in southwestern France.The Bordeaux-Arcachon-Libourne metropolitan area, has a population of 1,010,000 and constitutes the sixth-largest urban area in France. It is the capital of the Aquitaine region, as well as the prefecture...

 and then Paris. He travelled to Spain in 1826, but returned to Bordeaux, where he died of a stroke in 1828, at the age of 82. He was of Catholic faith and was buried in Bordeaux; in 1919 his remains were transferred to the Royal Chapel of St. Anthony of La Florida
Royal Chapel of St. Anthony of La Florida
The Royal Chapel of St. Anthony of La Florida is a Neoclassical chapel in central Madrid. The chapel is best known for its ceiling and dome frescoes by Goya. It is also his burial place.-History:...

 in Madrid.

Leocadia was left nothing in Goya's will; mistresses were often omitted in such circumstances, but it is also likely that he did not want to dwell on his mortality by thinking about or revising his will. She wrote to a number of Goya's friends to complain of her exclusion but many of her friends were Goya's and by then old men and had died, or died before they could reply. Largely destitute she moved into rented accommodation and passed on her copy of the Caprichos for free.

Work

See also List of works by Francisco Goya

Goya painted the Spanish royal family, including Charles IV of Spain
Charles IV of Spain
Charles IV was King of Spain from 14 December 1788 until his abdication on 19 March 1808.-Early life:...

 and Ferdinand VII. His themathic range extended from merry festivals for tapestry, draft cartoons, to scenes of war and human debasment. This evolution reflects the darkening of his temper. Modern physicians suspect that the lead in his pigments poisoned him and caused his deafness since 1792. Near the end of his life, he became reclusive and produced frightening and obscure paintings of insanity, madness, and fantasy, while the style of the Black Paintings
Black Paintings
The Black Paintings is the name given to a group of paintings by Francisco Goya from the later years of his life, likely between 1819–1823. They portray intense, haunting themes, reflective of both his fear of insanity and by then, his bleak outlook on humanity...

 prefigure the expressionist
Expressionism
Expressionism was a modernist movement, initially in poetry and painting, originating in Germany at the beginning of the 20th century. Its typical trait is to present the world solely from a subjective perspective, distorting it radically for emotional effect in order to evoke moods or ideas...

 movement.

Maja

Two of Goya's best known paintings are The Nude Maja
La Maja Desnuda
La maja desnuda is an oil on canvas painting by the Spanish painter Francisco Goya , portraying a nude woman reclining on a bed of pillows. It was executed some time between 1797 and 1800, and is sometimes said to be the first clear depiction of female pubic hair in a large Western painting...

 (La maja desnuda) and The Clothed Maja
La Maja Vestida
La maja vestida is a painting by Spanish painter Francisco de Goya between 1798 and 1805. It is a clothed version of La maja desnuda and is exhibited next to it in the same room at the Prado Museum in Madrid...

 (La maja vestida). They depict the same woman in the same pose, naked and clothed, respectively. Without a pretense to allegorical or mythological meaning, the painting was "the first totally profane life-size female nude in Western art".

The identity of the Majas are uncertain. The most popularly cited models are the Duchess of Alba, with whom Goya was sometimes thought to have had an affair, and Pepita Tudó, mistress of Manuel de Godoy
Manuel de Godoy
Don Manuel Francisco Domingo de Godoy y Álvarez de Faria, de los Ríos y Sánchez-Zarzosa, also Manuel de Godoy y Álvarez de Faria de los Ríos Sánchez Zarzosa , was Prime Minister of Spain from 1792 to 1797 and from 1801 to 1808...

; Godoy subsequently owned them. Neither theory has been verified, and it remains as likely that the paintings represent an idealized composite. The paintings were never publicly exhibited during Goya's lifetime. They were owned by Manuel de Godoy
Manuel de Godoy
Don Manuel Francisco Domingo de Godoy y Álvarez de Faria, de los Ríos y Sánchez-Zarzosa, also Manuel de Godoy y Álvarez de Faria de los Ríos Sánchez Zarzosa , was Prime Minister of Spain from 1792 to 1797 and from 1801 to 1808...

, the Prime Minister of Spain and a favorite of the Queen, María Luisa
Maria Luisa of Parma
Maria Luisa of Parma was Queen consort of Spain from 1788 to 1808 as the wife of King Charles IV of Spain. She was the youngest daughter of Duke Philip of Parma and his wife, Louise-Élisabeth of France, the eldest daughter of King Louis XV.She was christened Luisa Maria Teresa Ana, but was known...

. In 1808 all Godoy's property was seized by Ferdinand VII after his fall from power and exile, and in 1813 the Inquisition
Spanish Inquisition
The Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition , commonly known as the Spanish Inquisition , was a tribunal established in 1480 by Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile. It was intended to maintain Catholic orthodoxy in their kingdoms, and to replace the Medieval...

 confiscated both works as 'obscene', returning them in 1836 to the Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando.

Darker subject matter

In a period of convalescence during 1793–1794, Goya completed a set of eleven small pictures painted on tin; known as Fantasy and Invention, they mark a significant change in his art. They no longer represent the world of popular carnival, but rather a dark, dramatic realm of fantasy and nightmare. Yard with Lunatics
Yard with Lunatics
Yard with Lunatics is a small oil-on-tinplate painting completed by the Spanish artist Francisco Goya between 1793 and 1794. Goya said that the painting was informed by scenes of institutions he witnessed as a youth in Zaragoza...

 is a horrifying and imaginary vision of loneliness, fear and social alienation, a departure from the rather more superficial treatment of mental illness in the works of earlier artists such as Hogarth
William Hogarth
William Hogarth was an English painter, printmaker, pictorial satirist, social critic and editorial cartoonist who has been credited with pioneering western sequential art. His work ranged from realistic portraiture to comic strip-like series of pictures called "modern moral subjects"...

. The condemnation of brutality towards prisoners (whether criminal or insane) is the subject of many of Goya’s later paintings.

As he completed Yard with Lunatics, Goya was himself undergoing a physical and mental breakdown
Mental breakdown
Mental breakdown is a non-medical term used to describe an acute, time-limited phase of a specific disorder that presents primarily with features of depression or anxiety.-Definition:...

. It was a few weeks after the French declaration of war on Spain, and Goya’s illness was developing. A contemporary reported, “the noises in his head and deafness aren’t improving, yet his vision is much better and he is back in control of his balance.” His symptoms may indicate a prolonged viral encephalitis or possibly a series of miniature strokes resulting from high blood pressure and affecting hearing and balance centers in the brain. The triad of tinnitus
Tinnitus
Tinnitus |ringing]]") is the perception of sound within the human ear in the absence of corresponding external sound.Tinnitus is not a disease, but a symptom that can result from a wide range of underlying causes: abnormally loud sounds in the ear canal for even the briefest period , ear...

, episodes of imbalance
Balance disorder
A balance disorder is a disturbance that causes an individual to feel unsteady, for example when standing or walking. It may be accompanied by feelings of giddiness or wooziness, or having a sensation of movement, spinning, or floating...

 and progressive deafness is also typical of Ménière's disease
Ménière's disease
Ménière's disease is a disorder of the inner ear that can affect hearing and balance to a varying degree. It is characterized by episodes of vertigo and tinnitus and progressive hearing loss, usually in one ear. It is named after the French physician Prosper Ménière, who, in an article published...

. Other postmortem diagnostic assessment points toward paranoid dementia due to unknown brain trauma (perhaps due to the unknown illness which he reported). If this is the case, from here on—we see an insidious assault of his faculties, manifesting as paranoid features in his paintings, culminating in his black paintings and especially Saturn Devouring His Sons.

Caprichos and Tapestry cartoons

In 1799 Goya published a series of 80 prints titled Caprichos depicting what he described as "the innumerable foibles and follies to be found in any civilized society, and from the common prejudices and deceitful practices which custom, ignorance, or self-interest have made usual".

The dark visions depicted in these prints are partly explained by his caption, "The sleep of reason produces monsters". Yet these are not solely bleak in nature and demonstrate the artist's sharp satirical wit, particularly evident in etchings such as Hunting for Teeth. Additionally, one can discern a thread of the macabre running through Goya's work, even in his earlier tapestry cartoons.The word cartoon is derived from the Italian cartone, which describes a large sheet of paper used in preparation for a later painting or tapestry. Mostly popularist in a rococo
Rococo
Rococo , also referred to as "Late Baroque", is an 18th-century style which developed as Baroque artists gave up their symmetry and became increasingly ornate, florid, and playful...

 style, the cartoons were completed early in his career, when he was largely unknown and actively seeking commissions. In 1774, he was asked, on behalf of the Spanish crown, by the German artist Anton Raphael Mengs
Anton Raphael Mengs
Anton Raphael Mengs was a German painter, active in Rome, Madrid and Saxony, who became one of the precursors to Neoclassical painting.- Biography :Mengs was born in 1728 at Ústí nad Labem in Bohemia...

, to undertake the series. While designing tapestries was neither prestigious nor well paid, Goya used them, along with his early engravings, to bring himself to wider attention. They afforded his first contact with the Spanish monarchy that was to eventually appoint him court painter
Court painter
A court painter was an artist who painted for the members of a royal or noble family, sometimes on a fixed salary and on an exclusive basis where the artist was not supposed to undertake other work. Especially in the late Middle Ages, they were often given the office of valet de chambre...

.

The Disasters of War

In the 1810s, Goya created a set of aquatint prints titled The Disasters of War
The Disasters of War
The Disasters of War are a series of 8280 prints in the first published edition , for which the last two plates were not available. See "Execution". prints created between 1810 and 1820 by the Spanish painter and printmaker Francisco Goya...

. Although he did not make known his intention when creating the plates, art historians view them as a visual protest against the violence of the 1808 Dos de Mayo Uprising
Dos de Mayo Uprising
On the second of May , 1808, the people of Madrid rebelled against the occupation of the city by French troops, provoking a brutal repression by the French Imperial forces and triggering the Peninsular War.-Background:...

, the subsequent Peninsular War
Peninsular War
The Peninsular War was a war between France and the allied powers of Spain, the United Kingdom, and Portugal for control of the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars. The war began when French and Spanish armies crossed Spain and invaded Portugal in 1807. Then, in 1808, France turned on its...

 of 1808–14 and the setbacks to the liberal cause following the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy
Bourbon Restoration
The Bourbon Restoration is the name given to the period following the successive events of the French Revolution , the end of the First Republic , and then the forcible end of the First French Empire under Napoleon  – when a coalition of European powers restored by arms the monarchy to the...

 in 1814. The scenes are singularly disturbing, sometimes macabre in their depiction of battlefield horror, and represent an outraged conscience in the face of death and destruction. They were not published until 1863, 35 years after his death. It is likely that only then was it considered politically safe to distribute a sequence of artworks criticising both the French and restored Bourbons.

The first 47 plates in the series focus on incidents from the war and show the consequences of the conflict on individual soldiers and civilians. The middle series (plates 48 to 64) record the effects of the famine that hit Madrid in 1811–12, before the city was liberated from the French. The final 17 reflect the bitter disappointment of liberals when the restored Bourbon monarchy, encouraged by the Catholic hierarchy, rejected the Spanish Constitution of 1812
Spanish Constitution of 1812
The Spanish Constitution of 1812 was promulgated 19 March 1812 by the Cádiz Cortes, the national legislative assembly of Spain, while in refuge from the Peninsular War...

 and opposed both state and religious reform. Since their first publication, Goya's scenes of atrocities, starvation, degradation and humiliation have been described as the "prodigious flowering of rage"

Black Paintings

In later life Goya bought a house, called Quinta del Sordo ("Deaf Man's House"), and painted many unusual paintings on canvas and on the walls, including references to witchcraft and war. One of these is the famous work Saturn Devouring His Son
Saturn Devouring His Son
Saturn Devouring His Son is the name given to a painting by Spanish artist Francisco Goya. It depicts the Greek myth of the Titan Cronus , who, fearing that he would be overthrown by his children, ate each one upon their birth...

 (known informally in some circles as Devoration or Saturn Eats His Child), which displays a Greco-Roman mythological
Classical mythology
Classical mythology or Greco-Roman mythology is the cultural reception of myths from the ancient Greeks and Romans. Along with philosophy and political thought, mythology represents one of the major survivals of classical antiquity throughout later Western culture.Classical mythology has provided...

 scene of the god Saturn
Saturn (mythology)
In ancient Roman religion and myth, Saturn was a major god presiding over agriculture and the harvest time. His reign was depicted as a Golden Age of abundance and peace by many Roman authors. In medieval times he was known as the Roman god of agriculture, justice and strength. He held a sickle in...

 consuming a child, possibly a reference to Spain's ongoing civil conflicts. The series has been described as "the most essential to our understanding of the human condition in modern times, just as Michelangelo
Michelangelo
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni , commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art...

's Sistine ceiling
Sistine Chapel ceiling
The Sistine Chapel ceiling, painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512, at the commission of Pope Julius II, is a cornerstone work of High Renaissance art. The ceiling is that of the large Papal Chapel built within the Vatican between 1477 and 1480 by Pope Sixtus IV after whom it is named...

 is essential to understanding the tenor of the 16th century".

At the age of 75, alone and in a lot of mental and physical despair, he completed the work as one of his 14 Black Paintings
Black Paintings
The Black Paintings is the name given to a group of paintings by Francisco Goya from the later years of his life, likely between 1819–1823. They portray intense, haunting themes, reflective of both his fear of insanity and by then, his bleak outlook on humanity...

,A contemporary inventory compiled by Goya's friend, the painter Antonio de Brugada records 15. See Lubow, 2003 all of which were executed in oil directly onto the plaster walls of his house. Goya did not intend for the paintings to be exhibited, did not write of them,As he had with for the "Caprichos" and "The Disasters of War
The Disasters of War
The Disasters of War are a series of 8280 prints in the first published edition , for which the last two plates were not available. See "Execution". prints created between 1810 and 1820 by the Spanish painter and printmaker Francisco Goya...

" series. Licht 159
and likely never spoke of them. It was not until around 1874, some 50 years after his death, that they were taken down and transferred to a canvas support. Many of the works were significantly altered during the restoration, and in the words of Arthur Lubow what remain are "at best a crude facsimile of what Goya painted." The effects of time on the murals, coupled with the inevitable damage caused by the delicate operation of mounting the crumbling plaster on canvas, meant that most of the murals suffered extensive damage and lost a lot of paint. Today they are on permanent display at the Museo del Prado
Museo del Prado
The Museo del Prado is the main Spanish national art museum, located in central Madrid. It features one of the world's finest collections of European art, from the 12th century to the early 19th century, based on the former Spanish Royal Collection, and unquestionably the best single collection of...

, Madrid.

Sources

  • Ciofalo, John J. The Self-Portraits of Francisco Goya. Cambridge University Press, 2001
  • Tomlinson, Janis. Francisco Goya y Lucientes 1746–1828'.' Phaidon, 1999, 1994.
  • Buchholz, Elke Linda. Francisco de Goya. Cologne: Könemann, 1999. ISBN 3-8290-2930-6
  • Connell, Evan S. Francisco Goya: A Life. New York: Counterpoint, 2004. ISBN 1-5824-3307-0
  • Gassier, Pierre. Goya: A Biographical and Critical Study. New York: Skira, 1955
  • Havard, Robert. "Goya's House Revisited: Why a Deaf Man Painted his Walls Black". Bulletin of Spanish Studies, Volume 82, Issue 5 July 2005. 615 – 639
  • Hughes, Robert
    Robert Hughes (critic)
    Robert Studley Forrest Hughes, AO is an Australian-born art critic, writer and television documentary maker who has resided in New York since 1970.-Early life:...

    . Goya. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004. ISBN 0-3945-8028-1
  • Junquera, Juan José. The Black Paintings of Goya‎. London: Scala Publishers, 2008. ISBN 1-8575-9273-5
  • Licht, Fred. Goya: The Origins of the Modern Temper in Art. Universe Books, 1979. ISBN 0-8766-3294-0

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK