July 24, 2010
"Goya Hill" saved from development
Francisco de Goya: Pilgrimage to San Isidro, painted 1820 -1823 View enlargement
A landmark that appeared in several Goya artworks has won a reprieve from development from the Spanish High Court.
Anita Brooks at the UK Independent:
"Environmentalists battling to save a popular green ridge in old Madrid depicted in Francisco de Goya's painting La Pradera de San Isidro have won a reprieve from development. The slope, known as the San Francisco cornisa, looked about to join the concrete jungle last year, when Madrid's city hall gave permission to the Catholic Church to build a vast complex there. The regional high court has ruled that the plan violates land-use laws for historic properties. The deputy mayor, Manuel Cobo, has vowed to appeal."
[Below] Drawing of the Isidro area, by Goya
"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).