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(Detail) Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828), Self-Portrait, 1815. Oil on canvas. 46 x 35 cm. Prado, Madrid, Spain  Bridgeman Images

10 things to know about Goya

As conflict ravaged Europe in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Goya’s work not only chronicled his times but underwent an extraordinary revolution itself, enshrining him as both the last of the Old Masters and the father of modern art

1. Goya was the last Old Master

新皇冠体育APP下载a master of irony as well as elegance, — better known as goya — is considered to be one of the most important spanish artists of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. just as he straddles two centuries, he can also be seen as both the last of the old masters and the father of modern art. he cited ‘nature, and ’ as his main influences.

2. He was court painter to the Spanish royal family

新皇冠体育APP下载goya studied under josé luzán y martínez from the age of 14, and later moved to madrid to be taught by . by the time he turned 40 he was court painter to the spanish royal family, where he became famous as a portraitist of the highest order. ‘i have now established myself in a most enviable manner,’ he remarked. ‘those who require something of me must seek me out — i remain apart. i work for no one unless he is a high-ranking personality or a friend.’

3. Goya was a brilliant war artist

after 1793 one can discern a certain darkness in goya’s work. many put this down to the fact that he suffered from an illness that rendered him virtually deaf, but this more pessimistic outlook — as exemplified by his painting of — can also be attributed to the political and social upheaval he witnessed during the peninsular war, waged by napoleon against spain.

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828), Execution of the Defenders of Madrid, 3rd May, 1808, 1814. Oil on canvas. 266 x 345 cm. Prado, Madrid, Spain  Bridgeman Images

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828), Execution of the Defenders of Madrid, 3rd May, 1808, 1814. Oil on canvas. 266 x 345 cm. Prado, Madrid, Spain / Bridgeman Images

These events inspired him to create a series of prints entitled The Disasters of War  and perhaps his best-known painting, 新皇冠体育APP下载, in which a man in a bright white shirt faces a firing line of soldiers, his face a picture of horror.

4. Los Caprichos and other works are a biting critique of Spanish society

Wary of both religion and superstition, Goya produced a number of satirical prints on these subjects, most notably as part of the series , which includes the famous work 新皇冠体育APP下载. He described the prints as representing ‘the innumerable foibles and follies to be found in any civilised society’ and ‘the common prejudices and deceitful practices which custom, ignorance or self-interest have made usual’.

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828), For Heavens sake and it was her mother (Dios la perdone y era su madre), 1799. Etching with burnished aquatint, drypoint and engraving on laid paper. Plate 16 from Los Caprichos. Sheet 11¾ x 8 in (298 x 203 mm). Estimate $4,000-6,000. Offered in The Sleep of Reason Francisco Goya’s Los Caprichos, 8-23 October 2020, Online
. Etching with burnished aquatint, drypoint and engraving on laid paper. Plate 16 from Los Caprichos. Sheet: 11¾ x 8 in (298 x 203 mm). Estimate: $4,000-6,000. Offered in , 8-23 October 2020, Online

Although they were not circulated for long — Goya withdrew them from the market for fear of becoming a target of the Inquisition — the Caprichos  became his best-known and most influential work. owned a set and Delacroix openly borrowed from the famous compositions. Today the complete set — comprising 80 prints — can fetch more than £1 million at auction.

Left to rightThey say yes and give their hand to the first comer (El si pronuncian y la mano alargan al primero que llega), Nannys boy (El de la rollona), Tantalus (Tantalo), Theyve already got a seat (Ya tienen asiento), Which of them is the more overcome (Quien mas rendido), Of what ill will he die (De que mal morira), The sleep of reason produces monsters (El
Left to right:, all 1799, from Los Caprichos. All etched with burnished aquatint, drypoint and engraving on laid paper. Sheet: 11¾ x 8 in (298 x 203 mm). Various estimates. Offered in , 8-23 October 2020, Online

5. Goya was the first major artist to use acquatint

Goya’s Caprichos  mark a turning point in the history of printmaking. He was the first major artist to work in the relatively new technique of aquatint, which involved etching a copper plate with nitric acid and using resin and varnish to produce areas of tonal shading to create a watercolour-like effect. The plate would wear away after a number of pressings, causing details and depth to be lost, meaning that earlier editions are more valuable.

6. The Nude Maja was the first ‘profane’ life-size nude in Western art

Until 1790 most paintings of nudes were references to mythology or allegory. Goya is considered to be the first major artist to paint a woman entirely nude, in a realist style, representing a major break from tradition.  (1795-1800) was painted for nobleman Manuel de Godoy, and is said to be a composite of Godoy’s mistress Pepita Tudó and the Duchess of Alba, with whom it was rumoured Goya was having an affair.

The model is shown dressed in another version,  (1800-1807). In 1813 both works were confiscated by the Inquisition. Today, they hang side by side in the Prado.

7. Goya’s writings describe his philosophy of art

goya was not just a satirist or portraitist but someone who thought seriously about the nature of art, writing letters over the course of his career that expounded his philosophy of painting. in one he wrote, ‘painting (like poetry) chooses from universals what is most apposite. it brings together, in a single imaginary being, circumstances and characteristics which occur in nature in many different persons. from this combination, ingeniously composed, results that happy imitation by virtue of which the artist earns the title of inventor and not of servile copyist.’ he also noted, ‘in art, there is no need for colour; i see only light and shade.’

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828), Saturn Devouring One of His Sons, 1821-23. Mural transferred to canvas. 143.5 x 81.4 cm. Prado, Madrid, Spain  Bridgeman Images

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828), Saturn Devouring One of His Sons, 1821-23. Mural transferred to canvas. 143.5 x 81.4 cm. Prado, Madrid, Spain / Bridgeman Images

8. Goya’s dark vision is embodied in the Black Paintings and Los Proverbios

Dominated by a palette of black, white, ochre and grey, and featuring a range of bleak subjects, Goya’s Black Paintings, 新皇冠体育APP下载executed between 1819 and 1823,  perhaps best describe his distaste for contemporary society. The most famous work from this series, .

新皇冠体育APP下载originally painted as murals, these scenes were chipped off the walls of goya’s villa — called the house of the deaf man — in 1874 and later donated to the .

In the same period (1815 and 1823), Goya produced his last major series of prints: Los Proverbios  (The Proverbs), also known as Los Disparates  (The Follies). This portfolio of 18 dream-like compositions (with a further four added later) features scenes relating to a range of subjects from politics to the Spanish carnival, leading to numerous interpretations.
 

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828), Los Proverbios (D. 202-219; H. 248-265).  P 9 716 x 13¾  in (240 x 350  mm),  S 14 x 20⅞  in (357 x 530  mm). Sold for $509,000 on 28 January 2014 at Christie’s in New York

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828), Los Proverbios (D. 202-219; H. 248-265). P 9 7/16 x 13¾ in (240 x 350 mm), S 14 x 20⅞ in (357 x 530 mm). Sold for $509,000 on 28 January 2014 at Christie’s in New York

9. He influenced both modern and post-modern art

From , who would nod to Goya’s Maja  with his own nude , to Picasso, who admired the artist’s series of prints on bullfighting, Goya’s importance to modern painters is undeniable. His influence continued throughout the 20th century and is still prevalent today — painted his own horrors of war, while the enfants terribles  of the YBA movement, , reworked Goya’s prints.

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828), Picador caught by a Bull (Bravo Toro), from The Bulls of Bordeaux. Image 307 x 412  mm, Sheet 424 x 530  mm. Offered in Old Master Prints on 29 January 2019 at Christie’s in New York and sold for $43,750

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828), Picador caught by a Bull (Bravo Toro), from: The Bulls of Bordeaux. Image 307 x 412 mm, Sheet 424 x 530 mm. Offered in Old Master Prints新皇冠体育APP下载 on 29 January 2019 at Christie’s in New York and sold for $43,750

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10. He spent his final years in exile

新皇冠体育APP下载though he enjoyed great success as a court painter, goya withdrew from public life in his later years, no doubt dogged by his increasing deafness and fear of old age and madness — as suggested by the many images of lunatics and asses in his prints. under the new king ferdinand vii (1784-1833) he was told, ‘you deserve to be garrotted, but you are a great artist so we forgive you.’ when the political climate in spain became too unstable, he exiled himself to bordeaux, where he died in 1828.