Francisco Jose de Goya y Lucientes

[Francisco Jose de Goya y Lucientes]
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Painter, etcher, and lithographer. After studying art in Spain he went to Rome in his twentieth year for study and observation, traveling with a band of bull-fighters. On returning to Madrid, in 1775, he was engaged by Raphael Mengs to design tapestries of contemporary Spanish life for the Santa Barbara factory, but was soon famous as a painter of religious subjects and of portraits. Among the former are a Crucifixion in the Prado, and a Virgin in Glory in Saragossa. In 1789 he was appointed painter of the chamber by Charles IV. He is known in the history of Spanish art as the last of the old masters and the first of the new. He was an early exponent of naturalism and much of his work shows an almost brutal realism. Of his paintings, well-known examples are the equestrian portrait of Charles IV in the Prado, and the Portrait of the Duchess of Alva in the Hispanic Society Museum in New York. His characteristic irony is particularly evident in his etchings, and in early experiments in lithography. Of his etchings, the series of caricatures known as Capriccioso, 17921796, and a later grim portrayal of The Disasters of War are the most famous.

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