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Goya is another tormented artist born on today’s date. His paintings of the horrors of war should be required viewing for those of us who believe fighting will solve problems in the world. Aside from being a marvelous painter with every tool in a painters toolbox he was a great communicator as evidence by the power today his paintings have on viewers.
Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes 30 March 1746–16 April 1828) was a Spanish romantic painter and printmaker regarded both as the last of the Old Masters and the first of the moderns. Goya was a court painter to the Spanish Crown, and through his works was both a commentator on and chronicler of his era. The subversive and imaginative element in his art, as well as his bold handling of paint, provided a model for the work of later generations of artists, notably Manet, Picasso and Francis Bacon.
Goya painted the Spanish royal family, including Charles IV of Spain and Ferdinand VII. His themathic range extended from merry festivals for tapestry, draft cartoons, to scenes of war and human debasment. This evolution reflects the darkening of his temper. Modern physicians suspect that the lead in his pigments poisoned him and caused his deafness since 1792. Near the end of his life, he became reclusive and produced frightening and obscure paintings of insanity, madness, and fantasy, while the style of the Black Paintings prefigures the expressionist movement.