|Francisco de Goya is one of the greatest masters that Spain has ever produced and is considered the Father of Modern Art. His works, which are world reknown, changed the way artists would interpret the world. His works, paintings and drawings, spread on a span of 60 years covering from about the last half of the 18th century to the first quarter of the 19th century, and portray a celebration of life and a realistic view of the world.|
|Goya was born in the province of Zaragoza. When he was a teenager, he entered the service of a local artist. Later on, he travels to Madrid, where he is greatly influenced by the last of the great Venetian painters. After several failed attempts to enroll in the Royal Academy of San Fernando, Goya travels to Rome. Returning to Spain in the decade of the 1770s, Goya paints frescoes in several churches of his native province.|
With his wedding, Goya begins his ascension, working under Mengs, he finally enrolls in the royal academy and later on is named the King Charles IIIs painter. By 1799, Goya becomes the official Chamber painter of King Charles IV. But by this time he had suffered an illness which left him deaf, and his alienation from the pomposity of the Court began. He produced dark works at this time.
Together with the critiques to his works, Goya undergoes a time of wild imagination, in which sordid images of a surreal world begin to appear. Unable to present his works to his old clientele, he is forced, under the threat of the Inquisition, to withdraw his works. Meanwhile he continued with his services as crown painter; and by 1800, he creates La Família de Carlos IV (The Family of Charles IV).
By this time political and social upheaval connected with the Napoleonic kidnap of the Spanish crown and the invasion of Spain, Goya produced 2 de Mayo de 1808 (2nd of May of 1808), and other pieces in which the artist epitomizes the suffering and the realism of the time to a height not seen before. Ferdinand VII, King of Spain, reinstitutes Goya as the Chamber painter after the war, but by this time the artists convictions lead him to witness the vanity of court life. This begins his period known as the black paintings.
|A decade later, after having witnessed the excesses
and the attempt to enforce an absolutist regime by
Ferdinand VII, Goya decides to leave Spain to settle in
Southern France where he will die.
Because of the richness of works from Goya, one can witness how his attitude towards life and the world evolves and changes, as the socio-political events surrounding him shift. His works hardly stylized the Classical from prevalent of this time, but tended to be more of a romantic nature. In his old age, Goya becomes an embittered and disillusioned person towards society and its false pretenses.
Goya was no more than a man, but it is his humanity which allows us to view his personal turmoil in a world that was fast disappearing before his eyes. You can appreciate the bulk of his works at the El Prado Museum in Madrid where other great Spanish masters are well represented too (See our page on El Prado).
See the list of the spanish museums
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