Francisco de Goya


Francisco de Goya has been considered the most important Spanish artist to emerge in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. In the course of his long career, Goya went from being a happy and carefree artist to a pessimist which he reflected many times in his paintings , drawings and frescoes. He was a survivor of great wars and later became deaf . He was a great, honest, lucid and direct man. He was a lonely painter and prophet . He was sometimes called as the father of modern art. This famous Spanish artist painted a series of royal portraitsas well as more subversive works in the late 1700s and early 1800s.


Personal information

  • When was he born:  03/30/1746
  • Where he was born:  Fuendetodos, Spain
  • When he died:  04/16/1828
  • Where he died:  Bordeaux, France

Who was Francisco de Goya?

Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes  was one of the most important Spanish artists of the time, cheerful and carefree at first, he ended up reflecting in his works the pessimism in which he ended up living.


Biography of Francisco de Goya

Francisco de Goya was born on March 30, 1746 in Fuendetodos , Spain . He began his art studies when he was just a teenager and even spent time in Rome , Italy, to improve his artistic skills . In the year 1770, Francisco de Goya began working for the Spanish royal court . In addition to making a series of portraits commissioned by the nobility , he created different works of art that criticized the social and political problems of his time.


The son of a florin, Goya spent part of his youth in Zaragoza . There he began studying painting around the age of fourteen. He was a student of José Luzán Martínez and at the beginning of his career, Goya learned by imitation . He copied the works of great masters, drawing inspiration from the works of artists such as Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez and Rembrandt van Rijn. Later, Goya moved to Madrid , where he went to work with the brothers Francisco and Ramón Bayeu y Subí his art studio. He sought to promote his artistic education in 1770 or 1771 by traveling to Italy. In Rome, Goya studied classical works and submitted a painting in a competition organized by the Academy of Fine Arts in Parma, however, despite the judges’ liking his work, he was unable to win the first prize.

Thanks to the German artist Anton Raphael Mengs , he began creating works for the royal family of Spain . He first painted tapestry cartoons, which were works of art that served as models for woven tapestries, for a factory in Madrid and that reflected scenes typical of everyday life. In 1792, he became completely deaf after suffering from an unrecorded illness and began working on paintings without pay during his recovery. The political climate became so tense that Goya voluntarily went into exile in 1824 . Despite his poor health, Goya thought he could be safer outside of Spain so he moved to Bordeaux .France , where he spent the rest of his life. During this time, he continued painting. Some of his latest works include portraits of friends who were also living in exile. Francisco de Goya died on April 16, 1828 , in Bordeaux, France.

Characteristics of Francisco de Goya

Among the most outstanding characteristics of Francisco de Goya, we can mention the following:

  • He was a free painter and his style was immersed between neoclassicism , romanticism and realism .
  • His palette of paintings was highly chromatic and suggestive .
  • He used different techniques such as fresco , oil , canvas and cardboard for tapestries.
  • His themes were based on paintings of religious character , some scenes customs of the era in cartons, historical portraits and still lifes.
  • In his works the light predominated .
  • He knew how to capture the different psychological traits in his works of art.
  • It exerted a strong influence on the great painters belonging to the Renaissance and the Baroque style .


  • The first stage ran from 1771 to 1807 during his youth, this stage was where he obtained great triumphs in his profession and his optimistic vision of life dominated his paintings. He began as paintings of the Royal Academy , becoming the portraitist of Madrid society.
  • The second stage occurred in the years 1808 and 1824, years that were marked by his illness and deafness and by the war . At this stage his personal balance was broken, as he had always been an admirer of the French Revolution .
  • His epilogue occurs in 1824 when he decides to leave Spain and goes to live in Bordeaux , where he dies.

Outstanding works by Francisco de Goya

Among the main works of Francisco de Goya we can mention:Francisco de Goya Who was he, biography, characteristics, stages, works

  • The Third of May (1814)
  • The naked maja (1795)
  • The Colossus (1808-1812)
  • The family of Charles IV (1800)
  • Saturn devouring his son (1819)
  • The Coven (1797)
  • Los Caprichos (1799)


It was a series of 80 different engravings that represented a satire on Spanish society , mainly the nobility and the clergy . The first half of the work was based on the behavior of his fellow men and in the second, he abandons rationality to present a series of engravings of strange beings . The technique he used was etching and aquatint, deforming the bodies to represent vices and clumsiness.

Saturn devouring his son

It belongs to the series of Black Paintings by Francisco de Goya. The painting represents the titan Crono from Roman mythology when he devours one of his children. According to some studies, the painting reflects melancholy and destruction . The act of eating the child has been studied and classified as a reflection of sexual impotence.

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