Francisco Goya

Francisco Goya

Francisco Goya (born on march 30, 1746, in Fuendetodos, Spain—died April 16, 1828, in Bordeaux, France) was a Spanish artist for whom the paintings, sketches, and engravings portrayed contemporary historical upheavals and inspired significant 19th- and twentieth-century artists. The etching series The Disasters of War (1810-14) depicts the horrors of Napoleon's invasion. His paintings include The Clothed Maja (c. 1800-05), The Naked Maja, and The 3rd of May 1808 in Madrid, often known as "The Executions" (1814).

Although a skilled portraitist, Goya's romantic drawings, artworks, and prints are most recognized for the visceral technique and subject matter, which includes mythical works of art, executions, and war atrocities, these aspects were exemplified in his Black paintings, which he created in his later years while suffering from mental and psychological torment.

Early Life and Training 

Goya began his training in Zaragoza alongside José Luzán y Martnez, a local artist schooled in Naples. He then became a disciple of the imperial painter Francisco Bayeu, whose sister he wedded in 1773 in Madrid. He traveled to Italy to further his education and arrived in Rome in 1771. That same year, he relocated to Zaragoza, where he received his first significant contract for paintings in the cathedral, which he completed in stages over the following ten years.

These and numerous other early religious works of art from Zaragoza are in the Baroque-Rococo style, which was popular in Spain then. They are inspired in particular by brilliant Venetian painter Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, who invested the last years of his life in Madrid (1762-70), where he was welcomed to paint ceilings inside the royal palace.

Goya's court career started in 1775 when he created the first of over 60 cartoons (preparatory drawings) for the Royal Tapestry Factory of Santa Barbara, which he worked on until 1792. These paintings of modern life situations, aristocratic and common pleasures, were created under the leadership of the German artisan Anton Raphael Mengs, a famous Neoclassical proponent who, following Tiepolo's death, had evolved into the unchallenged art dictator at the Spanish court.

The impact of Tiepolo's decorative style is mitigated in Goya's early cartoons by Mengs' teachings, notably his emphasis on simplicity. Goya was chosen as a candidate of the Royal Academy of San Fernando in Madrid in 1780, with his entrance piece being a Christ on the Cross, traditional composition in the way of Mengs but painted in the realistic style of Velázquez's Christ on the Cross, which he surely recognized. In 1785, he was named director general of painting at the Academy, and the following year, he was designated painter to King Charles III. His first known pictures of court representatives and members of the nobility, shown in traditional 18th-century attitudes, are from this decade.

The stiff artistry of the statistics in full-length depictions of society ladies, like the Marquesa de Pontejos, and the fluent artwork of their ridiculous outfits link those to Velázquez's court portraits, and his portrayal of Charles III as Huntsman is straightforwardly predicated on Velázquez's royal huntsmen.

The Period after the Restoration

When Goya was at the pinnacle of his professional career in 1808, Charles IV and his son Ferdinand were forced to resign in short succession; Napoleon's soldier's invaded Spain, and Napoleon's brother Joseph was installed on the throne. Goya kept his job as a royal painter, but throughout the war, he represented both Spanish and French generals, and in 1812, he made a picture of The Duke of Wellington. Nevertheless, it wasn't until The Disasters of War (first published in 1863), a series of engravings for which he drew sketches throughout the war, that he chronicled his feelings about the invasion and the atrocities and terrible repercussions of the war.

Goya was rehabilitated for people who had served the French monarch and reinstalled as the first court artist at the reinstatement of Ferdinand VII in 1814, following the evacuation of the intruders. The 2nd of May 1808 in Madrid, also known as "The Fight of the Mamelukes," and the 3rd of May 1808 in Madrid, also known as "The Executions," have been painted to memorialize the popular insurgency in Madrid. They are masterpieces of dramatic realism, similar to The Disasters, and their gigantic magnitude makes them much more compelling. The impressionist style in that they were painted predicted and affected other 19th-century French artists, especially Édouard Manet, who was also motivated by The 3rd of May's compositions.

He painted just a few additional official portraitures, although portraits of his friends and relatives and his Self-Portraits (1815) are all opinionated. Some of his religious masterpieces from this period, such as The Last Communion of St. Joseph of Calasanz (1819) and The Agony in the Garden, is more evocative of real dedication than any earlier church compositions. The mysterious "black paintings" that he used to embellish the walls of his stately home, the Quinta del Sordo (1820-23) and Los proverbios or Los disparates, a continuation of etchings made centered on the same time (though not published until 1864), are harrowing experience visions in german expressionism language that appear to reflect cynicism, defeatism, and despair.



Francisco Goya Last Year and Legacy

When an effort to build a liberal administration failed, resulting in increased persecution, Goya requested permission to travel to France for health reasons in 1824. After visiting Paris, he went into voluntary seclusion in Bordeaux, where he lived until his death, except for a brief journey to Madrid. Despite his advanced age and infirmities, he continued to capture his views of the world within him through paintings, sketches, and the new lithographic method he had learned to utilize in Spain.


His final works involve narrative subjects and paintings of banished friends such as Leandro Fernández de Moran, Don Juan Bautista de Muguiro,  and Don José Po de Molina, which demonstrate the final evolution of his style towards that synthesis of pattern and protagonist in aspects of light and shade, without illustration or detail, and with a minimal level of color.


Though there is no evidence to support the rumors of Goya's rebellious personality and violent activities, he was undeniably a revolutionary artist. His massive and diverse output of paintings, sketches, and engravings on practically every element of current life recalls the age of political and socioeconomic changes in which he resided. His numerous original accomplishments profoundly pleased later 19th-century French artists—Eugène Delacroix was among his great adoring fans were the figureheads of new European movements ranging from Romanticism and Verisimilitude to Impressionism; and his creations were applauded and studied by Expressionists, Contemporary artists, as well as other 20th and 21st centuries.

Some of the Best Paintings of Francisco Goya

Here are some of the masterpieces of Francisco Goya.

The Third of May

The Third of May is an arresting composition that depicts a French firing squad prepared to execute Spaniards. This painting is often regarded as the first contemporary battle painting. Goya's superb use of lighting and shadow to guide the viewer's gaze and increase the dramatic aspects and graphic impression of his paintings is used to create this image.

The piece is separated into two distinct portions. A line of French infantrymen with bayonets stands to the right. They stood shoulder-to-shoulder and, staring away from the observer, cloaked in darkness, making them a nameless and menacing presence. These aspects contrast with the composition's left side, which features a group of unarmed citizens standing in the sunlight as if underneath a spotlight.

The Black Painting 

He lived alone and in his studio beyond Madrid at the end of his professional career. At eighty, Goya painted his season finale of fourteen Black Paintings, notably Saturn Devouring His Sons, through mental turmoil. All the artworks were performed immediately on his house's walls and are his greatest dramatic compositions, with extreme execution and topics, creating nearly nightmarish fairytale art.

Scholars believe these are very intimate works because the creator did not offer any information about their development, including texts or names. Their significance was eventually lost to conjecture. The Witches Sabbath is one of the artworks.

His black appearance and brilliant white eyes highlight the fallen angel's terrible nature. A coven of witchcraft is supposed to be around him. The largely black composition is only lightened to expose the women's haggish faces, heightening the canvas's overall impression of eerieness and dread. The brushwork is now considerably rougher and looser than in Goya's early work, appearing to be hurried and frantic, embracing his dying state of mind.

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Nude Maja

Nude Maja

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The Dog

The Dog

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