Monday, April 2, 2012

Goya, Francisco de

Portrait of Mariana Waldstein
Oil on canvas
142 x 97 cm (56 x 38 1/4")
Musee du Louvre, Paris

Goya, Francisco de (1746 - 1828) was born in a village in northern Spain. He was a consummately Spanish court painter whose paintings reflected contemporary historical upheavals and influenced important 19th and 20th century painters.

For the bold technique of his paintings, the haunting satire of his etchings, and his belief that the artist's vision is more important than tradition, Goya is often called "the first of the moderns." He is known for his scenes of violence, especially those prompted by the French invasion of Spain, and his uncompromising portrayal of his times marked the beginning of 19th century realism.

Serious illness in 1792 left Goya permanently deaf. Isolated from others by his deafness, he became increasingly occupied with the fantasies and inventions of his imagination and with critical and satirical observations of mankind. He evolved a bold, free new style close to caricature.
In 1824, after the failure of an attempt to restore liberal government in Spain, Goya went into voluntary exile in France. He settled in Bordeaux, continuing to work until his death there in 1828.
He had many children, but only one son survived to adulthood.