francisco de goya facts
Despite the personal risks, Goya expressed his dissatisfaction with the Ferdinand’s rule in a series of etchings called “Los disparates.” These works featured a carnival theme and explored folly, lust, old age, suffering and death among other issues. With his grotesque imagery, Goya seemed to illustrate the absurdity of the times.
In 1779, Goya won an appointment as a painter to the royal court. He continued to rise in status, receiving admission into the Royal Academy of San Fernando the following year. Goya began to establish a reputation as a portrait artist, winning commissions from many in royal circles. Works, such as “The Duke and Duchess of Osuna and their Children” (1787-1788), illustrate Goya’s eye for detail. He skillfully captured the tiniest elements of their faces and clothes.
Francisco Goya, in full Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes, (born March 30, 1746, Fuendetodos, Spain—died April 16, 1828, Bordeaux, France), Spanish artist whose paintings, drawings, and engravings reflected contemporary historical upheavals and influenced important 19th- and 20th-century painters. The series of etchings The Disasters of War (1810–14) records the horrors of the Napoleonic invasion. His masterpieces in painting include The Naked Maja, The Clothed Maja (c. 1800–05), and The 3rd of May 1808: The Execution of the Defenders of Madrid (1814).
Francisco Goya was one of the greatest painters and printmakers of the late 18th and early 19th centuries in Europe. He is regarded as one of the latest of the Old Masters and one of the earliest of the modern artists. His works reflected contemporary upheavals and influenced important later artists.
Goya was born to a lower-middle-class family in 1746, in Fuendetodos in Aragon. He studied painting from age 14 under José Luzán y Martinez and moved to Madrid to study with Anton Raphael Mengs. He married Josefa Bayeu in 1773; their life was characterised by an almost constant series of pregnancies and miscarriages, and only one child, a son, survived into adulthood. Goya became a court painter to the Spanish Crown in 1786 and this early portion of his career is marked by portraits of the Spanish aristocracy and royalty, and Rococo style tapestry cartoons designed for the royal palace.
He was guarded, and although letters and writings survive, little is known about his thoughts. He suffered a severe and undiagnosed illness in 1793 which left him deaf, after which his work became progressively darker and pessimistic. His later easel and mural paintings, prints and drawings appear to reflect a bleak outlook on personal, social and political levels, and contrast with his social climbing. He was appointed Director of the Royal Academy in 1795, the year Manuel Godoy made an unfavorable treaty with France. In 1799 Goya became Primer Pintor de Cámara, the highest rank for a Spanish court painter. In the late 1790s, commissioned by Godoy, he completed his La maja desnuda, a remarkably daring nude for the time and clearly indebted to Diego Velázquez. In 1801 he painted Charles IV of Spain and His Family, also influenced by Velázquez.
Little is known of Goya’s subsequent activities until April 1771, when he was in Rome. Two small paintings, both dated 1771 and one signed “Goya,” were recently discovered: Sacrifice to Pan and Sacrifice to Vesta. The monumental figures are classical but executed with sketchy brushstrokes and bathed in theatrical lighting. From Rome he sent to the Academy of Parma for an open competition another painting, Hannibal in the Alps Contemplating the Italian Lands, and signed himself as a pupil of Francisco Bayeu in his accompanying letter. Although he was not the winner, he did receive six of the votes and laudatory mention. Immediately after he had received this news, Goya departed for Saragossa.
Goya’s first great series of etchings, Los caprichos (1796-1798), were based on drawings from his Madrid Sketchbook. They include scenes of witchcraft, popular traditions, bullfights, and society balls. In the Caprichos Goya mercilessly and vindictively lampooned the duchess, depicting her in immodest postures; representing her as “a stylish fool” and adding, “There are heads so swollen with inflammable gas that they can fly without being helped by a balloon or by witches;” and likening her to a two-headed, butterfly brain of a “lie and inconstancy.” The duchess died in 1802, following a long illness. Goya painted the Nude Maja and the Clothed Maja later (usually dated between 1805 and 1807). The heads in both appear to float, neckless, above the shoulders.
In 1816 he published his etchings on bullfighting, called the Tauromaquia. From 1819 to 1824 Goya lived in seclusion in a house outside Madrid. Free from court restrictions, he adopted an increasingly personal style. In the Black Paintings, executed on the walls of his house, Goya gave expression to his darkest visions. A similar nightmarish quality haunts the satirical Disparates, a series of etchings also called Proverbios.
At the same time, Goya achieved his first popular success. He became established as a portrait painter to the Spanish aristocracy. He was elected to the Royal Academy of San Fernando in 1780, named painter to the king in 1786, and made a court painter in 1789.
Goya painted portraits of many famous people, including the Duke of Wellington. His paintings of the Royal Family of Charles IV of Spain and Ferdinand VII show them looking like very ordinary people, not like proud nobility. Queen Maria Luisa was delighted with the large portrait that he did of her family in 1800, even though a French writer Théophile Gautier said that Goya made them look “like the corner baker and his wife after they had won the lottery”.
Portrait of Manuel Godoy, 1801. Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando
He was living there at the time, and they just needed a few artists to help finish the job they had been working on for some time, so he was called in to help out!
This was based on a true story, when Napoleon had his soldiers come to Spain, and kill townsfolk, to try and force them to let him rule.