Francisco Goya

Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (March 30, 1746 – April 16, 1828) was a Spanish painter and engraver. He was born in Fuendetodos and later lived primarily in Madrid. Brought up in Zaragoza, at 14 he was apprenticed to José Luzanan, an artist friend of his father. He married Josefa Bayeu, the sister of Francisco Bayeu, in 1773.

Charles IV of Spain and his family.His later influence is significant since his art was both deeply subversive and subjective, at a time when these attitudes were not predominant. His emphasis on the foreground and faded background portends the work of Manet.

Goya was a portraitist of royalty and chronicler of history who produced a series of 80 prints that he titled Los Caprichos depicting what he called 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. [1]

The Clothed Maja.He painted the Spanish royal family, including Charles IV of Spain and Ferdinand VII. His themes range from merry festivals for tapestry, draft cartoons, to scenes of war, fight and corpses. This evolution reflects the darkening of his temper. Modern doctors 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. The style of these Black Paintings prefigure the expressionist movement.

Goya retired to his Quinta del Sordo (Deaf man's villa) after the French troops of Napoleon Bonaparte seized power in Spain. Some of his paintings depict scenes of the horrors of the Peninsula War.

Blind and deaf, he died in self-imposed exile in Bordeaux.

Two of Goya's best known paintings are The Nude Maja (La Maja desnuda) and The Clothed Maja (La Maja vestida). They depict the same woman in the same pose, naked and clothed respectively. He painted La Maja Vestida after outrage in Spanish society over the previous Desnuda. He refused to paint clothes on her, and instead created a new painting.

Saturn Devouring His Son (1819).Another familiar Goya work is Saturn Devouring His Son, which displays a Greco-Roman mythological scene of the god Saturn consuming a child. This painting is one of fourteen in a series called the Black Paintings.

Many of Goya's works are on display at the Museo del Prado.