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Francisco de Goya

  • Self portrait by Francisco de Goya. San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Madrid © Turespaña

    Self portrait by Francisco de Goya. San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Madrid © Turespaña

  

Speciality

Painting

 

 

Date of birth

1746

Date of death

1828
  


" Painter, engraver and universal artist. Together with Velazquez and Picasso, he is one of the three great figures of Spanish art."

He was born in Fuendetodos in 1746. From a very early age he subscribed to the ideas of the Spanish enlightenment. During the first years of his career he was renowned as religious painter, a genre he continued to practice for the rest of his life. In 1774 he settled in Madrid and became court painter under the protection of Francisco Bayeu. He designed tapestries for the Royal Household as well as winning fame as a portraitist, and was eventually made the King's Painter. His genius was not limited to painting and portraiture; he was also an outstanding engraver. In the years before the French invasion he returned to drawing, and in this phase of his life he produced his series of critical engravings, in which a change in style can be observed. Overwhelmed by the absolutist backlash following the Peninsular War, he went into exile in Bordeaux, where he died in 1828.

Essential works

  • Francisco de Goya, ‘Cheap covered carriage’. Cerralbo Museum, Madrid © Ministerio de Cultura

    Cheap covered carriage

    This is part of the series featuring different means of locomotion which drew Goya's attention during his stay in Paris and Bordeaux.

    Cerralbo Museum (Madrid)

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  • 'Witches' coven' © Museo de la Fundación Lázaro Galdiano

    Aquelarre, or Witches' Sabbath

    This magnificent painting by Goya was part of a series of six commissioned by the dukes of Osuna to decorate their estate, "El Capricho", near Madrid.

    Lázaro Galdiano Museum (Madrid)

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  • ‘The 3rd of May 1808 or The Executions on Principe Pio Hill’ © Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado

    The 3rd of May, 1808: The Executions on Principe Pio Hill

    This depiction of the executions emphasises the atmosphere of drama and tension through the use of light which highlights the gestures of the heroes of the uprising.

    Prado Museum (Madrid)

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  • ‘The Family of Charles IV’ © Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado

    The family of Charles IV

    This is one of the great works of Goya, and in this portrait of the family of King Charles IV he demonstrates all his skill and subtlety when portraying each individual subject.

    Prado Museum (Madrid)

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  • 'Saturn devouring his Son' © Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado

    Saturn devouring his Son

    This is one of the most expressive images of Goya’s so-called “Black Paintings”, considered by many artists to mark the beginnings of modern art.

    Prado Museum (Madrid)

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Other highlighted works

  • The pilgrimage of San Isidro
  • Dog buried in sand
  • Goya attended by Doctor Arrieta
  • Mad house
  • The Disasters of War: 82 engravings
  • Los caprichos, 80 engravings

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