“Father of Modern Art”, “a visionary”, “a politically sound artist” one can use many phrases to describe Goya - the painter, but what about Goya the man? Well one can say that Goya the painter was Goya the man because his art spoke so much about his ideologies and concerns that they became his voice…
Goya was born in Fuendetodos, in the province of Saragossa in 1746 to Joseph Goya and Gracia Lucientes. He spent his childhood in Fuendetodos.he moved to Madrid to study painting under Anton Raphael Mengs.Goya began his painting career just after the Baroque period. His candid illustration of feelings made him the pioneer of new artistic tendencies, which were to come to fruition in the 19th century. Monet and Picasso learnt a lot from Goya’s style.
His early works were remarkable but not revolutionary. When he contracted a high fever in 1792 Goyawas 42 yrs old. this fever left him deaf and he became withdrawn and introspective. During the five years he spent recuperating, made an effort to learn about the French Revolution and its repercussions. The dark visions of the revolution haunted his paintings. Though dark, his paintings are not solely bleak in nature and demonstrate the artist's sharp satirical wit.
Goya finally found his art.
The Third of May 1808: Famous Painting by Goya
Goya depicts an imaginary scene from the Spanish war of liberation when many innocent citizens were shot by Napoleon's troops. The painting measures 3.45 by 2.66 meters, was completed in 1814 and is on display in Museo del Prado, in Madrid. The picture was painted by order of the King together with "The Charge of the Mamelukes" inspire Madrid’s people to stand against the forces of Napoleon. This painting does not show an incident that Goya saw with his own eyes; rather it is an illustration of the horrors of war.
The Majas: Famous Painting by Goya
The two majas, the clothed and the naked ones are probably Goyas best known works. They depict the same woman in the same pose, naked and clothed respectively. He painted The clothed Maja after outrage in Spanish society about the Naked Maja which was considered obscene by its conservative standards. The identity of the model and the reason behind the creation are still unknown.
An embittered Goya painted this series of 14 paintings after the Napoleonic Wars. His acute awareness of panic, terror, fear, and hysteria colored his imagination into painting this haunting and sometimes morbid paintings. the most well known of the Black Paintings is perhaps the startingly morbid “Saturn devouring his Son”. The disturbing painting portrays the Roman god Saturn eating one of his children. Fearing a prophecy that one of his children would overthrow him, Saturn ate each of his children upon their birth.
Black Paintings: Famous Paintings by Goya
Goya depicts this act of cannibalism with unflinching savagery. The background is black, while the limbs and head of Saturn seem to pop out of the shadows. Saturn's eyes are huge and bulging as if he is mad. His fingers dig into the back of his son, whose head and right arm are already consumed. Saturn is about to take another bite of his child's left arm.
This allegorical painting is obviously a comment on the ruthless society where the tyrranical people in power thought nothing of devouring the happiness of the powerless to further their own cause.