By Janis Tomlinson
Often described as the last of the Old Masters and the first of the Moderns, Francisco Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828) was one of the most inventive and prolific artists of any age. As painter to the Spanish Court, he created tapestry cartoons, portraits and religious paintings. But he also looked beyond his court patrons to an elite clientele who often encouraged him to experiment in new formats and genres. The innovative aspects of these works provided a point of departure for the uncommissioned works that Goya would create following an illness of late 1792 which left him deaf. Like variations on a musical theme, these mature works make use of earlier formats, but introduce elements which greatly enhance their expressive potential. They include the satires on follies and vices known as Los Caprichos, the Naked and Clothed Maja, the harrowing commentary known as the Disasters of War, and the perplexing and unique 'black' paintings.
In this prize-winning study, Janis Tomlinson explores what she defines as Goya's 'continuity': a vital and constant drive to experiment and to exploit the potential of his creativity. That drive would lead him to create in a variety of media, including oils, fresco, aquatint, etching and lithography. It would also sustain him through the historical upheavals that witnessed the downfall and ultimate restoration of the Court which he served.
Softcover, 320 pages
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