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Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes
Birth Date: 
Birth Place: 
Fuendetodos, Spain
Death Date: 
Death Place: 
Bordeaux, France
Paintings, drawings, and engravings reflected contemporary historical upheavals and influenced important 19th- and 20th-century painters. The series of etchings "Los desastres de la guerra" ("The Disasters of War," 1810-14) depicts the horrors of the Napoleonic invasion. His masterpieces in painting include "The Naked Maja" and "The Clothed Maja" (c. 1800-05 Began studies in Zaragoza with José Luzán y Martínez, a local artist trained in Naples. Later studied in Madrid with the court painter Francisco Bayeu, whose sister he married in 1773. Went to Italy to continue his studies (was in Rome in 1771). That year he returned to Zaragoza, where he received his first important commission for frescoes in the cathedral, which he executed over next 10 years. These and other early religious paintings are in a Baroque-Rococo style popular in Spain at that time, and are influenced in particular by the Venetian painter Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, who spent the last years of his life in Madrid (1762-70), where he had been invited to paint the ceilings of the royal palace. Goya's career as a court painter began in 1775. He then had the opportunity to study the paintings in the royal collection, including those of another court painter Diego Velázquez. Goya is said to have acknowledged three masters: Velázquez, Rembrandt, and, above all, nature. Rembrandt's etchings were no doubt a source of inspiration for his later drawings and engravings, while the from the paintings of Velázquez he learned the study of nature and the language of realism. Goya set the tone for the art of the 19th century, the century of both wild romanticism and unsparing realism. His highly original technique was taken up by Manet, the first of the Impressionists, and by his followers. Goya's choice of subject matter was not limited by tradition. He was perhaps the first painter to claim the right of the artist to record his innermost visions, nightmarish as they might be. The famous "black paintings" are examples. There is little evidence in support of legends of Goya's rebellious character and violent behavior, however he was without a doubt a revolutionary artist. His enormous and varied production of paintings, drawings, and engravings relate to nearly every aspect of contemporary life, and reflect the period of political and social upheavals in which he lived. Although he had no immediate followers, his many original achievements profoundly influenced later 19th-century French artists (Eugène Delacroix was one of his great admirers) who became the leaders of new European art movements, from Romanticism to Realism. Goya continued to be admired and studied by the Expressionists and Surrealists into the 20th century.