Goya the Artist

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January 26, 2010

Review of Goya Etching Show in Dallas

Written by Lauren Adams, review takes a look at the Blanton Art Museum presentation at the University of Texas in Austin. Adams calls the exhibit "a captivating glimpse into the psychological state of Goya."

Goya’s Prints: The Dawn of Modern Art

Blanton Museum of Art
200 East MLK
Austin, Texas 78701
Through March 7, 2010

From the Dallas Art News web site review by Lauren Adams:

"The prints are dark not only in their content, but also in their construction. If you take moment to view the prints housed the neighboring galleries, what you will find are smooth, clean lines and clear depictions of the moods and actions of the figures. Although some examples of Goya’s work does coincide with these observations, his most striking pieces are quite a contrast from this model. Many pieces, such as Disparate General, have a fast, sketchy quality to the scene. The figures loom in and out of large, inky shadows, with their faces shaded to the point of disfiguration.

The scenes are a jumble of metaphor and fear with an underlying current of deep revulsion towards humanity. Goya stresses how far man has fallen with the representation of shadowy goblins and devils hovering over figures and prodding them on their wicked ways. Although the devilish figures are haunting enough, what is most disturbing is the portrayal of the eyes of the human figures. The majority of the people, even those lurking in the shadows, have round, bulging eyes that seem to pop from their heads. This conveys a sense of madness within the figures, as if they are carrying out their evil deeds in a frenzied, dehumanizing trance."

Learn more about the Sleep of Reason print here.

Sleep of Reason


Goya The Terrible Sublime - Graphic Novel - (Spanish Edition) - Amazon

Goya: His Life & Works in 500 Images: An illustrated account of the artist, his life and context, with a gallery of 300 paintings and drawings – 256 pages, Lorenz Books, 2015 - Amazon

Goya Ephemera

"From this headlong seizure of life we should not expect a calm and refined art, nor a reflective one. Yet Goya was more than a Nietzschean egoist riding roughshod over the world to assert his supermanhood. He was receptive to all shades of feeling, and it was his extreme sensitivity as well as his muscular temerity that actuated his assaults on the outrageous society of Spain." From Thomas Craven's essay on Goya from MEN OF ART (1931).

"...Loneliness has its limits, for Goya was not a prophet but a painter. If he had not been a painter his attitude to life would have found expression only in preaching or suicide." From Andre Malroux's essay in SATURN: AN ESSAY ON GOYA (1957).

"Goya is always a great artist, often a frightening one...light and shade play upon atrocious horrors." From Charles Baudelaire's essay on Goya from CURIOSITES ESTRANGERS (1842).

"[An] extraordinary mingling of hatred and compassion, despair and sardonic humour, realism and fantasy." From the foreword by Aldous Huxley to THE COMPLETE ETCHINGS OF GOYA (1962).

"His analysis in paint, chalk and ink of mass disaster and human frailty pointed to someone obsessed with the chaos of existence..." From the book on Goya by Sarah Symmons (1998).

"I cannot forgive you for admiring Goya...I find nothing in the least pleasing about his paintings or his etchings..." From a letter to (spanish) Duchess Colonna from the French writer Prosper Merimee (1869).

Los Caprichos Goya - Amazon

GOYA : Los Caprichos - Dover Edition - Amazon

Goya Book - Robert Hughes - 2006

Goya A Life in Letters

Goya: A Life in Letters


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