Francisco de Goya

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Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (born Fuendetodos, 30th of March, 1746 - Bordeaux, France, April 16, 1828) was an Spanish romantic painter and printmaker. He was born in Fuendetodos, Zaragoza, Spain where he studied with the painter José Luzán. Over the course of his long career, Goya moved from jolly and lighthearted to deeply pessimistic and searching in his paintings, drawings, etchings, and frescoes. [1]

In 1774 he went to the studio of Francisco Bayeu, there he learned the charm of construction and the art of color. He also married Josefa, his teacher’s sister (same case as Diego Velazquez). This marriage gave him an introduction to the Royal Tapestry Workshop and settled down in the Court and discovered the prodigious world of noble Spain. In 1783, the Count of Floridablanca commissioned him to paint his portrait. In 1799 he was appointed the Royal Painter. Then, Goya painted the King and the Queen, Royal family pictures, portraits of Princess and many other nobles. In ca. 1800 he painted the famous Majas, The Nude Maja and The Clothed Maja, two of Goya's best known paintings.

The Executions of the 3rd. of May 1808

In Goya’s works one sees also an unsparing realism, showing cruelties, the moral chaos and the failure of intellectual ideals. After 1808 (military occupation of Spain by France) he was painting some of his most famous canvases: The Charge of the Mamelukes and The Executions of the 3 May 1808 (in La Moncloa), as well as the series of eighty-five prints called The Disasters of the Wars (1810-1814) (Historical Painting). After that time, Goya worked incessantly: portraits, pictures, lithographs, pictures of tauromachy, etc.

Goya’s earliest portraits reflect the airy landscape settings and shimmering pastel colors of his tapestry designs. As he matured, and particularly after he lost his hearing due to a serious illness in 1792, Goya increasingly sought psychological characterizations of his sitters, often spotlighting them against dark, shadowed backgrounds. [2]

Before he moved to France, Goya covered the walls of his "Quinta del Sordo" (Deaf Man's House) with his famous "Black Paintings".

Goya said that Velazquez, Rembrandt and nature had been his masters. Goya died in an auto exile in Bordeaux, France. As pioneer of new artistic tendencies, Francisco de Goya is considered "the Father of Modern Art".

For the bold technique of his paintings, the haunting satire of his etchings, and his belief that the artist's vision is more important than tradition, Goya is often called "the first of the moderns." His uncompromising portrayal of his times marks the beginning of 19th-century realism. [3]


Continue to Goya's Petite Gallery.


See also

Crucified Christ, Del Prado, 1780.
Doña Isabel de Porcel, National Gallery, 1804.
Young Lady wearing a Mantilla and Basquiña, ca. 1800/1805.


External links

Self Portrait (1826)


Goya La Gallina Ciega.jpg Blind's Man Bluff, Del Prado, 1788.

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