Francisco de Goya (1746-1828)

«¿Qué ha hecho España por Europa?», la injusta pregunta de los enciclopedistas franceses

The First Modern Artist

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes  was 78 years old, stone-deaf and impoverished when, in 1824, he left his Spanish homeland for exile in Bordeaux. By then he was a wreck. He was sick and all alone. The Spanish Inquisition, offended by the candor of his nude “The Naked Maja,” had pursued him for obscenity. He had witnessed, and depicted, the most searing of atrocities–murders, rapes, garrotings and the corpses stuck on spikes of the Napoleonic Wars. Seven of his children had died before reaching adulthood.

Goya made his name by flattering the Spanish aristocracy, and became the foremost court painter in Spain. However, there were two Goyas. In 1793, at the age of 47, he suffered a near-fatal illness and lost his hearing. His art changed dramatically. He began to create a series of works that would culminate in the astonishing Black Paintings (1819-23), which were unlike anything that had come before. They were visions of hell, painted straight on to the walls of his Deaf Man’s Villa on the outskirts of Madrid.

Francisco Goya produced nothing more abrasively modern than the series of 14 images known as the Black Paintings. Even today, these nightmarish visions can unmoor you. An ancient crone grins ghoulishly over a bowl of food; a demonic figure whispers in the ear of a stooped old man; a midnight coven surrounds a goat-headed sorcerer; a dog raises its head forlornly; and, most famous of all, a raggedy-bearded man with bulging eyes devours a human form that is already reduced to red meat.

The Duchess of Alba, 1797

Witches’ Sabbath, 1798

La Maja Desnuda, 1800

The Third of May, 1808

The Dog, c1820

Saturn Devouring His Son, c1820

Self Portrait, 1815

Resultado de imagen de goya self portrait

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26 respuestas a Francisco de Goya (1746-1828)

  1. rexval dijo:

    I like The Naked Maja, but there is something that attracts attention to me: her head. It seems to be another woman’s head, doesn’t it?

    A secret. When I was a teenager all my companions were boys at school. Franco was alive. We had Goya’s picture «The Naked Maja» on page 69. I remember perfectly, 69.When the History teacher was giving lesson sitting on his armchair, all of us opened the book at page 69 and we closed it quickly when he got up. One day, the teacher realized of it and he punished all my classmates and me. He forbade us to look at the picture again in the classroom.

    The supposed Duchess of Alba was the first naked woman I had never seen. I was 12 or 13.



    • feseto dijo:

      We will probably never be one hundred per cent sure as to who modelled for the two paintings. The two candidates are the Duchess of Alba and Pepita Tudó.

    • Cape dijo:

      Very suggestive that it was page 69…

      • Cape dijo:

        69 lovers? I had not thought of that.

        The teacher probably did like to punish. Why else present books with art like that to boys. Teachers can be perverse, like a female teacher leaning into the corner of a table. It’s hear-say, but still..
        Back in the day when the socialists still had to much to say in Holland and the opposite gender was put together in the same classroom casually, it was usually the teacher who was the big mouth bad influence, making suggestive comments to girls who were proud to show the higgies in school. I just listened of course to these scenes, being called a bookworm and happy not to act cool. To hot to be cool… 😀

  2. A pretty girl is like a minstrel show
    It makes you laugh
    It makes you cry
    You go
    It just isn’t the same on radio
    It’s all about the makeup and the dancing and the Oh

    A pretty girl is like a violent crime
    If you do it wrong you could do time
    But if you do it right it is sublime
    I’m so in love with you, girl,
    It’s like I’m on the moon
    I can’t really breathe, but I feel lighter

    A melody is like a pretty girl
    Who cares if it’s the dumbest in the world
    It’s all about the way that it unfurls
    A pretty girl is like
    A pretty girl

  3. rexval dijo:

    No…. 69 lovers. Only a naked woman on page 69 at school. Goya’s Naked Maja. How do yo say «Maja» in English? Beautiful, pretty? I think there is no translation.

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