Taschen Goya

Taschen

Basic Art Series: Goya

By Rose-Marie and Reiner Hagen
Born in Fuendetodos, Spain, in 1746, Goya was apprenticed to the Spanish royal family in 1774, where he produced etchings and tapestry cartoons for grand palaces and royal residences across the country. He was also patronized by the aristocracy, painting commissioned portraits of the rich and powerful with his increasingly fluid and expressive style. Later, after a bout of illness, the artist moved towards darker etchings and drawings, introducing a nightmarish realm of witches, ghosts, and fantastical creatures.

It was, however, with his horrific depictions of conflict that Goya achieved enduring impact. Executed between 1810 and 1820, The Disasters of War was inspired by atrocities committed during the Spanish struggle for independence from the French and penetrated the very heart of human cruelty and sadism. The bleak tones, agitated brushstrokes, and aggressive use of Baroque-like light and dark contrasts recalled Velázquez and Rembrandt, but Goya’s subject matter was unprecedented in its brutality and honesty.

Hardcover, 8.3 x 10.2 in, 96 pages