His free brushwork and brilliant colors make him a forerunner of the impressionist movement of the late 1800's.
His skill in capturing a fleeting, dramatic moment influenced the romantics of the early 1800's.
His fantastic imagination and his search for a deeper reality in man's emotions and subconscious inspired the expressionists and surrealists of the 1900's.
Goya was born near Saragossa. His full name was Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes. In 1774, he was appointed painter to the Royal Tapestry Works in Madrid. His tapestry designs are typical of the late rococo style in elegance of line and color.
Yet their recording of daily events anticipates the realism of the 1800's. Between 1780 and 1792, Goya reached the height of his material success.
He was admitted to the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in 1780.
The pleasant nature of his paintings reflected his optimism. In 1792, Goya became ill and lost his hearing.
His art became more imaginative after his illness. In the 1790's, he produced his best religious paintings, plus a series of biting social satires in his etchings The Caprices.
He reached his peak as a portrait painter with The family of Charles IV and two Majas (ladies).
Napoleon's invasion and occupation of Spain from 1808 to 1813 inspires Goya's most powerful paintings: The 2nd of May and The 3rd of May and his prints and The Disasters of the War.
These works depict the horrors of war. In 1820, Goya retired to his country house near Madrid where he painted other imaginative, violent pictures.
Unlike his war paintings, the fantastic horrors of these pictures are relieved by touchers of morbid humor, delicate beauty, and realistic observation. In 1823, Goya moved to France to escape the harsh rule of King Ferdinand VII.
His last work became even freer and more dazzling.
§ "Portrait of Mariana Waldstein" oil on canvas Musee du Louvre Paris
§ "The Countess of Carpio, Marquise de la Solana" oil on canvas Musee du Louvre Paris
§ "The Incantation" 1797-98 oil on canvas Lazaro Galdiano Foundation Madrid
§ "Dona Teresa Sureda" c. 1805 oil on canvas National Gallery of Art Washington
§ "The Colossus" 1808-12 oil on canvas Museo del Prado Madrid
§ "Group on a Balcony" c. 1810-15 oil on canvas Metropolitan Museum of Art New York
§ "The Shootings of May Third 1808" 1814 oil on canvas Museo del Prado Madrid
§ "Saturn Devouring His Son" oil on plaster transferred to canvas Prado Madrid
Artinvest2000, International Arts
Portal Copyright 1999-2007©