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An introduction to the life of francisco goya a painter

Biography Goya was born in 1746, in Zaragoza, a small village in Northern Spain. A few years late the family moved to Saragossa and his father gained employment as a gilder.

Francisco Goya

At the age of about 14, Goya went to work as an apprentice to a local painter called Jose Luzan who taught him drawing and as was customary at the time, the young Goya spent hours copying prints of Old Masters. At the age of 17 Goya moved to Madrid and came under the influence of Venetian artist and printmaker Giambattista Tiepolo and painter Anton Raphael Mengs. In 1770, he moved to Rome where he won second prize in a fine art painting contest organized by the City of Parma.

Recognition His first major commission came in 1774 to design 42 patterns which were to be used decorate the stone walls of El Escorial and the Palacio Real de El Pardo, the new residents of the Spanish Monarchy.

  • A severe and still incompletely diagnosed disease he suffered in 1792 while in the south of Spain left Goya completely deaf and, in many ways, cut off from his previous life;
  • It was sleeping under the snows of one of the winter epochs of history;
  • He painted them as they were, in all their physical imperfection and with all their moral shortcomings;
  • The features of the king and of most of the members of his family are vulgar in the extreme.

This work brought him to the attention of the Spanish Monarchy which eventually resulted in him being appointed Painter to the King in 1786. Goya was a keen observer of humanity, and he was constantly making sketches of everyday life.

  1. He went to Italy to continue his studies and was in Rome in 1771. Goya's early work in Zaragoza with his future brother-in-law, Francisco Bayeu, introduced him to a charmingly suave and blended international rococo style much dependent on the work of Giaquinto, and it is this part of his training that probably encouraged Goya at the age of twenty-four to go to Rome for a year.
  2. Goya was a man of the world. Goya kept company with the most liberal aristocrats of the court, many determined to reform Spanish civil and religious life; these men and women became his patrons and often, true friends.
  3. Goya was always in the forefront of the street battles.

However after contracting a fever in 1792 Goya was left permanently deaf by his illness. Isolated from people by his deafness, he retreated into his imagination and a new style started to evolve - more satirical, and close an introduction to the life of francisco goya a painter caricature.

There was growing macabre quality to his works which can be seen for example in his Fantasy and Invention series of thirteen paintings, 1793 - a dramatic nightmarish fantasy with lunatics in a courtyard. While he completed these series of paintings, Goya himself was convalescing from a nervous breakdown.

Dark Romanticism In 1799, he brought out a series of 80 etchings entitled Los Caprichos Caprices commenting on a range of human behaviours in the manner of William Hogarth. In 1812-15, following the Napoleonic War, he produced a series of aquatint prints called The Disasters of War depicting shocking, horrific scenes from the battlefield.

The prints remained unpublished until 1863. Compare Goya's realist portrayal of the war with the more romantic depiction of Antoine-Jean Gros 1771-1835. In 1814, to commemorate the Spanish insurrection against French troops at the Puerta del Sol, Madrid, Goya produced one of his greatest masterpieces - The Third of May, 1808 1814, Prado, Madridwhich is acknowledged as one of the first true paintings of modern art.

After 1815 Goya virtually retired from public life, and became increasingly withdrawn and more expressive in his works which echoed El Greco many years before him.

Another set of pictures, his fourteen large murals known as the Black Paintings 1819-23including Saturn Devouring One of His Children 1821, Prado, Madridreveal an extraordinary world of black fantasy and imagination. Last Years His works span a period of more than 60 years, and as time went on he became more critical of the world.

He became bitter and disillusioned with society as the world around him changed, and he expressed these emotions through his art. In 1824, after much political upheaval in Spain, Goya decided to go into exile in France.

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes

He continued to work there until his death in 1828, at the age of 82. Towards the end of his life he became more reclusive, slipping deeper into madness and fantasy. Goya's role in the history of art is not limited simply to his supreme portraiture.

In addition to his mastery of printing, his dramatic painting style influenced a great deal of nineteenth century French art and his works became the precursor to the Expressionist movement and an important forerunner of modern art. Along with Velazquez and Picassohe is considered to be one of the three finest artists of Spain.

Alike in their genius, they were unlike in everything else. Velasquez was a smiling spectator in the tragicomedy of life. Goya was a boisterous actor. Velasquez, the philosopher, shook his head indulgently and said, "What fools these mortals be.

Both Velasquez and Goya were Spanish to the core. But the spirit of Velasquez' painting was primarily national, while the spirit of Goya's painting was at all times universal. Velasquez was a citizen of Spain. Goya was a man of the world. Velasquez depicted the life of his compatriots. Goya represented the life of mankind.

Goya was one of the most comprehensive of the world's painters. He may well be called the Shakespeare of the brush. His imagination was all embracing. The scope of his genius included portraiture, landscape painting, mythological paintingrealistic stories, symbolical representations, tragedy, comedy, satire, farce, men, gods, devils, witches, the seen and the unseen and as was the case with Shakespeare's extravagant genius - an occasional excursion into the obscene.

Physically, this roisterous knight of the dagger and the brush was impressive rather than handsome. Somewhat below the medium height, he had the figure of an athlete.

His features were coarse and irregular, but they were alive with the fire of an unsuppressed impetuosity. His deep black eyes would suddenly light up with the impudence of a child about to play a naughty prank. His nose was thick, fleshy, sensuous. His lips were firm, aggressive and unabashed. Yet there lurked about their corners at times a smile of good-natured joviality.

  • The series of etchings The Disasters of War 1810—14 records the horrors of the Napoleonic invasion;
  • It was not until 1900 that the remains of the exiled First Painter of Spain were brought back to Madrid;
  • The labour that it costs to rise to the top goes up in smoke;
  • He seems not to have been particularly loyal to Josefa but his affection for his son was profound and he made vigorous efforts to advance Javier's social status and property as his sole heir;
  • To be painted by Goya became the fashion - indeed, the passion - of the day;
  • He became bitter and disillusioned with society as the world around him changed, and he expressed these emotions through his art.

His chin was the round, sensitive, smooth chin of a lover. A lover of life, of gaiety, of beauty. He enjoyed three things with equal gusto - to flirt with a wench, to fight a duel and to paint a picture.

He was a master in the art of indiscriminate living - an audacious, brawling, philandering, befriending, swashbuckling and dreaming Don Juan of Saragossa! The red-blooded Spanish Baroque realism of Velazquez and Ribera had degenerated into the anemic pink-and-white figurines of the uninspired artists of the eighteenth century. These artists had a genius for mediocrity.

The world was old and tired. It was sleeping under the snows of one of the winter epochs of history. Nobody suspected, when Goya was roaming over the fields of his native village Fuendetodos, that here was a youngster who would usher in a new spring.

Least of all was Goya himself aware of his destiny. To keep his busy hands out of mischief he amused himself by sketching in the fields that bordered upon the road to Saragossa.

  1. It was sleeping under the snows of one of the winter epochs of history.
  2. It attracts but at the same time it repels. He also produced a large set of lithographs called the Bulls of Bordeaux, working like a painter on the large lithographic stones on a scale completely new to him.
  3. We have no notion of Goya's response to the opening in 1819 of the Prado museum as a public institutiom a moment of great liberality nor do we know what he thought of Fernando VII's suppression of a liberal constitution the following year. Then interred in the Pantheon of Illustrious Men of the Sacramental Cemetery of San Isidro, he was finally laid to rest in 1929 in the church of San Antonio de la Florida in Madrid beneath his most ambitious mural program.
  4. Goya and Bayeu were the life of the studio - and the talk of the town.
  5. Isolated from people by his deafness, he retreated into his imagination and a new style started to evolve - more satirical, and close to caricature. The result - an eloquent commentary on the follies and the foibles of eighteenth-century Spain.

One day, in 1760, a monk was walking slowly over this road and reciting his breviary. A shadow lay across his path. Looking up, he saw a young lad making charcoal drawings upon the wall of a barn. Being somewhat of a connoisseur, the monk stopped to examine the boy's work. He was amazed at the youngster's aptitude. It was this anonymous monk who was responsible for the awakening of the latent genius of Goya and for the renaissance of Spanish painting.

Thanks to the recommendation of his ecclesiastical benefactor, he was admitted into the studio of Don Jose Lujan Martinez. Here he remained for five years, acquiring an exuberant virtuosity in colour and design, a passionate admiration for Velasquez and a hearty contempt for the academic conventionalities of his fellow artists.

There was only one of them for whom he had the slightest respect - a painter by the name of Francisco Bayeu 1734-95. In spite of the fact that Bayeu was twelve years older than Goya the two pupils of Lujan became fast friends. Goya the Wild An introduction to the life of francisco goya a painter Man "Fast" in more senses than one.

Goya and Bayeu were the life of the studio - and the talk of the town. Ardent in their work, headstrong in their pleasures and reckless of the consequences of their pranks, they threw themselves heartily into the whirlpool of the Aragonese underworld - singing, dancing, drinking, wenching, quarreling, with an occasional killing thrown in for good measure.

Goya was always in the forefront of the street battles. In one of these battles, occasioned by nobody knows what flimsy excuse, three young men belonging to the rival faction were left lifeless on the ground. Somebody warned Goya that the Inquisition intended to arrest him. Hastily packing his belongings, he left Saragossa in the dead of night and made his way to Madrid. Arrives in Spanish Capital Here his reputation as an artist had preceded him.

Mengs, a somewhat better than mediocre painter but somewhat worse than mediocre teacher, was at that time decorating the royal palace at Madrid.

From all the pupils who assisted him in this work he exacted a slavish obedience and a faithful imitation of his own unimpressive ideas. He offered to take Goya into his studio as one of his assistants.

Goya, whose artistic ideas were superior to those of Mengs, refused the offer. Goya had come to Madrid not to secure employment but to continue his education.

He strongly believed in the formula, to easy earning through hard learning. Accordingly he spent his days in studying the artistic treasures of the capital.

Francisco Goya and his paintings

And his nights in conquering the hearts of the senoritas and the senoras. Whether single or married, a woman was to him equally desirable - and equally accessible.

Very few could resist his impetuous wooing. With sword at his side and guitar in his hand he wandered through the streets and sang his way into the hearts of the ladies, whose stealthily written messages fluttered down to him from behind shuttered windows. The women adored him, and the men were insanely jealous of him.

And they had every right to be jealous. Sooner or later this heedless quest for the forbidden adventures of love was bound to cost him dearly. And, indeed, it came near to costing him his life.

One early morning he was found in a side street with a deep dagger thrust in his back. In order to protect him from the ubiquitous eye of the Inquisition his friends kept him concealed for a time. And then, when he was well on the way to recovery, they hustled him out of Madrid.

Here too, as in Madrid, he apprenticed himself to the study of the great masters of the Renaissance and Mannerismincluding the short-live Caravaggio 1571-1610. He applauded the geometric precision of their design, he extolled the subtlety of their chiaroscurothe dramatic quality of Caravaggism.

  • During this same time, Goya received his first commission to paint religious works and portraits, the latter from an increasingly more elevated group of patrons;
  • Velasquez, the philosopher, shook his head indulgently and said, "What fools these mortals be;
  • He continued to work there until his death in 1828, at the age of 82;
  • In one of the pictures she is nude, and in the other she is dressed in a long transparent shift of thin white silk which is tightly folded around all the lascivious contours of her body.

He admired the accuracy of their observation, he worshipped the fire of their genius - and he refused to be influenced by any of them. For the greater part of his life his inspiration came from within rather than from without.