Francisco de Goya 1746-1828
Goya died in Bordeaux at the age of 82 leaving a body of work (about 900 drawings and almost 300 prints) remarkable for its artistic vision and profound humanity. Through his prints and drawings Goya explored fantasy, beliefs and human conduct often through series in order to explore complex and evolving themes. He expressed his most intimate thoughts in sketchbooks, which are rich repositories that provide insight into his personal world and creative process. Goya’s series of prints are equally remarkable for their wide-ranging subjects and brilliant imagination.
Although Goya’s dedication to graphic art marks him as exceptional amongst his peers, he was far from being a ‘lone genius’ and his work should be understood in the context of the scientific, social and artistic developments that were taking place during the 18th century. The independence of his thought, his criticism of superstition and his rejection of intellectual oppression reflect the ideas and attitudes of the Age of Enlightenment. Goya witnessed major social and political changes including the horrific effects of the Inquisition and the French occupation of Spain.