Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes was a Spanish painter and printmaker. His work includes easel and mural painting, engraving and drawing. His style evolved from Rococo, through Neoclassicism, to Pre-Romanticism, always interpreted in a personal and original way, and always with an underlying trait of naturalism, the reflection of reality without an idealistic vision that sweetens or distorts it, where The ethical message is equally important. For Goya, painting is a vehicle of moral instruction, not a simple aesthetic object. His most contemporary references were Giambattista Tiepolo and Anton Raphael Mengs, although he was also influenced by Diego Velázquez and Rembrandt. Goyesque art represents one of the turning points that between the 18th and 19th centuries herald contemporary painting and is a precursor of some of the pictorial avant-garde of the 20th century, especially expressionism; For all these reasons, he is considered one of the most relevant Spanish artists and one of the great masters of world art history.
Furthermore, his work reflects the turbulent historical period in which he lived, particularly the War of Independence, of which the series of prints of The Disasters of War is almost a modern report of the atrocities committed and composes a vision devoid of heroism where The victims are always individuals of any class and condition.
His naked Maja has great popularity, partly favored by the controversy generated around the identity of the beautiful woman portrayed. Other portraits that embark on the path towards new bourgeois art also date from the beginning of the 19th century. At the end of the Spanish-French conflict he painted two large paintings about the events of the May 2 uprising of 1808, which established both an aesthetic and thematic precedent for the history painting, which not only comments on events close to the reality he lives. the artist, but reaches a universal message.
Among his other works, his culminating work includes the Disparates, as well as the series of oil paintings on the dry wall, the black paintings, with which he decorated his country house, the Quinta del Sordo. In them Goya anticipated contemporary painting and the various avant-garde movements that would mark the 20th century and are, according to J. M. Matilla, head of Conservation of Drawings and Prints at the Museo Nacional del Prado, “”the first manifestations of Goya’s truly modern character, who we should not hesitate to describe as the first modern artist.
Goya’s work includes some five hundred oil paintings and wall paintings, as well as nearly three hundred etchings and lithographs and hundreds of drawings. The majority is preserved in the Prado Museum in Madrid, although there are also a good number of works in France, especially in the Louvre Museum, as well as those in Agen, Bayonne, Besançon, Castres, Lille and Strasbourg.
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)