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Artists Francisco Goya
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Francisco Goya

Spanish Painter and Printmaker

Movement: Romanticism

Born: March 30, 1746 - Fuendetodos, Spain

Died: April 16, 1828 - Bordeaux, France

Francisco Goya Timeline

Quotes

"I have had three masters; Nature, Velasquez, and Rembrandt."
Francisco Goya
"The object of my work is to report the actuality of events."
Francisco Goya
"My work is very simple. My art reveals idealism and truth."
Francisco Goya

"Fantasy, abandoned by reason, produces impossible monsters; united with it, she is the mother of the arts and the origin of marvels."

Francisco Goya Signature

Synopsis

Goya occupies a unique position within the history of Western art, and is often cited as both an Old Master and the first truly modern artist. His art embodies Romanticism's emphasis on subjectivity, imagination, and emotion, characteristics reflected most notably in his prints and later private paintings. At the same time, Goya was an astute observer of the world around him, and his art responded directly to the tumultuous events of his day, from the liberations of the Enlightenment, to the suppressions of the Inquisition, to the horrors of war following the Napoleonic invasion. Both for its inventiveness and its political engagement, Goya's art had an enormous impact on later modern artists. His unflinching scenes from the Peninsular War presaged the works of Pablo Picasso in the 20th century, while his exploration of bizarre and dreamlike subjects in the Caprichos laid the foundation for Surrealists like Salvador Dalí. Goya's influence extends to the 21st century, as contemporary artists have also drawn inspiration from the artist's grotesque imagery and searing social commentary.

Key Ideas

Goya's formal portraits of the Spanish Court are painted in a lavish virtuoso style, and highlight the wealth and power of the royal household. On the other hand, the works have been seen to contain veiled, even sly, criticisms of the ineffectual rulers and their circle.
Goya is one of the greatest printmakers of all time, and is famous for his achievements in etching and aquatint. He created four major print portfolios during his career: the Caprichos, Proverbios, Tauromaquia, and The Disasters of War. Perhaps even more than his paintings, these works reflect the artist's originality and his true opinions about the social and political events of his day. The subject matter of his etchings veers from dreamlike to grotesque, documentary to imaginary, and humorous to harshly satirical.
Women occupy a central place within Goya's oeuvre, and his images of majas (the stylish and outlandish members of Spain's lower classes in the 18th and 19th centuries), witches, and queens are some of his most daring and modern interpretations, depicting women in possession of their own powers, whether political or sexual. Many of these works have led to speculation about Goya's private life, for example his supposed affair with the Duchess of Alba.
Goya's late paintings are among the darkest and most mysterious of his creations. His series of 14 paintings from his farmhouse on the outskirts of Madrid (the so-called "Black Paintings") contain images of violence, despair, evil, and longing. They are the pessimistic expressions of an aging, deaf artist who was disillusioned with society and struggling with his own sanity. Their exploration of the dark forces at work in his own subconscious foreshadows the art of the Expressionists and Surrealists in the 20th century.

Biography

Francisco Goya Photo

Childhood

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes was born in Fuendetodos, Spain, to a lower-middle-class family. The fourth of six children, he spent the majority of his childhood in Zaragoza, a nearby city where his family was originally from. He attended a local public school, where he met his lifelong friend Martin Zapater; their letters provide one of the few direct sources of information about Goya's early years in Madrid.

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Francisco Goya Biography Continues

Influences and Connections

Influences on Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Influenced by Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Francisco Goya
Interactive chart with Francisco Goya's main influences, and the people and ideas that the artist influenced in turn.
View Influences Chart

Artists

Diego VelazquezDiego Velazquez
Rembrandt van RijnRembrandt van Rijn

Personal Contacts

Manuel de Godoy
Sebastian Martinez y Perez

Movements

RomanticismRomanticism

Influences on Artist
Francisco Goya
Francisco Goya
Years Worked: 1760 - 1823
Influenced by Artist

Artists

Édouard ManetÉdouard Manet
Pablo PicassoPablo Picasso
Salvador DalíSalvador Dalí
Jake and Dinos ChapmanJake and Dinos Chapman

Personal Contacts

Juan Valdes Melendez
Leandro Fernandez de Moratin

Movements

RealismRealism
ImpressionismImpressionism
ExpressionismExpressionism
SurrealismSurrealism
Conceptual ArtConceptual Art

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Content compiled and written by Ximena Kilroe

Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors

" Artist Overview and Analysis". [Internet]. . TheArtStory.org
Content compiled and written by Ximena Kilroe
Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors
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