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The emotionally-driven paintings of Francisco de Goya, in particular his multi-layered self portraits, ensure plenty of interest in the artist's character. Here we outline a number of direct quotes from his life time, as well as looking into how others viewed his work and his legacy.
Famous Quotes by Francisco de Goya
Fantasy, abandoned by reason, produces impossible monsters; united with it, she is the mother of the arts and the origin of marvels.
I am beginning to have more powerful enemies and more envious ones, too.
I have just returned from Arenas and feel very tired. His Excellency loaded me with a thousand honours; I have painted his portrait and that of his wife and boy and girl with unexpected success, for other artists had been there previously and not been successful.
I have had three masters; Nature, Velazquez and Rembrandt.
I have now established myself in a most enviable manner. Those who require something of me must seek me out - I remain apart. I work for no one unless he is a high-ranking personality or a friend.
In art, there is no need for color; I see only light and shade. Give me a crayon, and I will paint your portrait.
I will give a proof to demonstrate with facts that there are no rules in painting and that oppression or servile obligation of making all study or follow the same path is a great impediment for the young who profess this very difficult art.
My work is very simple. My art reveals idealism and truth.
Painting (like poetry) chooses from universals what is most apposite. It brings together, in a single imaginary being, circumstances and characteristics which occur in nature in many different persons.
The object of my work is to report the actuality of events.
With all my work, I have not more, with my shares in the bank and the Academy, than twelve or thirteen thousand reales a year, and with all this, I am as contented as the happiest man on earth.
Quotes by Famous Artists and Art Historians about Francisco de Goya
Over the course of his long career, Goya moved from jolly and lighthearted to deeply pessimistic and searching in his paintings, drawings, etchings, and frescoes.The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Goya's formal portraits of the Spanish Court are painted in a lavish virtuoso style, and highlight the wealth and power of the royal household. On the other hand, the works have been seen to contain veiled, even sly, criticisms of the ineffectual rulers and their circle.TheArtStory.org
Goya was the leading Spanish painter and etcher of the late 18th century, and court painter to Charles III, Charles IV and Ferdinand VII of Spain. His work ranges from the Rococo style of his early tapestry cartoons for the royal tapestry works to the sombre Romanticism in which he recorded the atrocities of the Peninsular Wars, and to the 'black' paintings with which he decorated his own house. In addition to portraits, frescoes and tapestry cartoons, he was known for small paintings of theatrical subjects, like the Gallery's El Hechizado por Fuerza.The National Gallery, London, UK
Immensely successful in his lifetime, Goya is often referred to as both the last of the Old Masters and the first of the moderns. He was also one of the great portraitists of his time.Wikipedia
Goya's late paintings are among the darkest and most mysterious of his creations. His series of 14 paintings from his farmhouse on the outskirts of Madrid (the so-called "Black Paintings") contain images of violence, despair, evil, and longing. They are the pessimistic expressions of an aging, deaf artist who was disillusioned with society and struggling with his own sanity. Their exploration of the dark forces at work in his own subconscious foreshadows the art of the Expressionists and Surrealists in the 20th century.TheArtStory.org
The series of etchings The Disasters of War (1810–14) records the horrors of the Napoleonic invasion. His masterpieces in painting include The Naked Maja, The Clothed Maja (c. 1800–05), and The 3rd of May 1808: The Execution of the Defenders of Madrid (1814).Britannica
Aboggle-eyed pagan god feasts on the headless carcass of his own son. A humanoid billy goat in a monkish cassock bleats a satanic sermon to a gasping congregation of witches. A desperately expressive little dog appears to plead for rescue, submerged up to its neck in a mud-coloured mire beneath a gloomy, void-like firmament of negative space.The Guardian, describing Goya's Black Paintings