14 Different books reviewed or described below:
By Robert Hughes
Published by Alfred Knopf, November 2003*
Printed in Spain
Dustjacket text here.
Review of the book Goya by Robert Hughes
By Fred Licht
Published by Abbeville Press**
First Edition, 2001
Printed in Spain
Read a review of this book here.
By Xavier de Salas, Xavier
Published by Mayflower Books, 1978
Printed in Italy
GOYA by Xavier de Salas [Amazon]
By Sarah Symmons
Published by Phaidon Press, 1998
Printed in Singapore
Book review of Goya by Sarah Symmons here
Eyewitness Art: Goya
By Patricia Wright
64 page Hardcover
Published by Dorling Kindersley 1993
"Reading level: Ages 9-12"
There is a 1999 edition of this work with a different cover. I do not know if the contents were revised from the earlier 1993 version. To see the current edition for sale, you can go to the DK books web site here or to Amazon.com here.
This is an excellent volume for children with serious interests in the fine arts. The reproduction quality is very good, and Wright's concise, short written notes provides a sort of illustrated timeline overview of Goya's work and life. Includes analysis and excerpts of Goya's private letters, "key" biographies, glossary of words, and a map showing the locations of museums and galleries owning at least five Goya paintings (I noticed that the USA National Gallery is not mentioned: they have more than five).
Although these DK books (in the Eyewitness Art series) are directed at a certain young age group, I have picked up the volume many times for reference. It covers so much in such a short "blurb" style that it's a handy reference tool. It also shows off the kind of analysis that is not easy to find elsewhere, for example pages 14 and 15 which break down Goya's "The Parasol" into picture elements, showing the color palette used and kinds of brush strokes.
The graphic design of the pages are not unlike that of a magazine in some way. It is crammed with text and imagery that utilizes all of the available space, and the photographs of unusual odds and ends (for example, page 17 has a foto of Goya's actual etching plate for Sebastian de Morra along with a copy of the print itself) is interesting and personable.
I wish there was an equivalent "adult" version of this kind of book that was as lively in it's design and images, though with a greater emphasis on written information. That is not a negative remark against the 64 pages making up Wright's book, rather a simple note of space limitations.
(below) The dust jacket flaps from the book
Goya : Painter of Terrible Splendor
By Jeannine Baticle
Published by Harry N. Abrams,
This is a good, inexpensive volume for introducing Goya to those with a marginal interest or who are perhaps relatively young adult readers. The printing quality varies to sometimes too dark in the reproductions, but they are otherwise clear and sharp (though small - - the volume itself measures roughly 7" x 5").
There is a generous amount of addendum information which makes this slim book something of a Goya anthology reader. It includes copies of Goya letters and the cartoons he sometimes included.
Assorted Goya Books
Goya Francisco: Los Caprichos (Dover Books, 1969)
Also contains out-takes and versions of the original set of etchings. Good introduction by Philip Hofer.
Goya, Francisco: Disasters Of War (Dover Publications, 1967)
This is in the same format, though a different size, as Dover's Caprichos edition. Like that, the reproduction quality is perhaps not perfect, but then it is drawn upon centuries old editions of Goya's etching plates. Includes informative introduction by Philip Hofer. Also the original introduction to the first printed edition.
Malraux, Andre. Saturn: An Essay On Goya. Phaidon, 1957 . 4to. 184pp.
This is a long, multi-part essay which discusses Goya as understood by novelist and critic Andre Malraux. He proposes many ideas, and brings up many questions, often in areas untouched by other volumes on Goya. The book is well illustrated, and assumes the reader is familiar with Goya and his work to a certain extent. AMAZON
Schilderijen,Mayer, A. Hyatt : Goya, 67 Drawings (New York Graphic Society, 1974)
This is an excellent selection of Goya ink & brush pieces. The selection is taken from the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. There are also other crayon, pencil and chalk drawings.
Milner, Frank: Goya (112 pages, Smithmark, 1995) AMAZON
This oversize volume has clean and precise printing in the reproductions, though they sometimes are too dark and obscure a portion of a painting. The limitations of four-color printing are evident - however, overall an excellent volume and with its large size, quite eye-pleasing.
Myers, Bernard: Goya (Spring Books, 1964)
This book is organized and printed in a style long out of vogue. The writing itself, by Mr. Myers, is well-suited toward the student, as it breaks up specific points and paintings in easy to assimilate groupings. The color printing is not at all acceptable by todays standards, in fact retouching by the production personal is evident on several paintings - altering significantly the painting itself.
Richard Schickel: The World of Goya (Time-Life Series, 1968)
This is a lightweight, though excellently organized, episode-and-topic overview of Goya and his work. Some of the reproductions are much too dark, but might be an artifact of 1960s era printing. Includes illustrated comparisons with other artists.
Wolf Reva: Goya And The Satirical Print In England And On The Continent, 1730 To 1850 (Godine, David R Publ Inc) (Special New, Trade Paper, Burnside)
This volume collects together a number of Goya's major prints, and compares their themes and techniques with the prints from other artists and their countries. Includes many illustrations of comparative art. Images are reproduced excellently.
*Thanks goes to the Alfred Knopf company for the review copy of Robert Hughes Goya they provided for this website.
**Thanks goes to Abbeville Press for the review copy provided of Fred Licht's Goya book.
"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).