Wednesday, October 30, 2013

GOYA for Halloween

Happy Halloween.

Goya is a wonderful artist for this holiday, as his artwork ranges from beautiful and lavish portraits of royalty to scary, grotesque images of witches and giants.

Quick Notes on Goya: 
          BORN 1746 in Spain
       He is famous for creating paintings and prints that were "modern" in their composition and subject- breaking the "rules" of art at that time.

Here are several famous examples of his work:

Work done while the court painter to the Royal Family....

 Portrait of the Duchess of Alba, 1797

Between 1792-93 Goya goes DEAF as the result of illness... he creates Los Caprichos, a series of experimental etchings used to comment on the problems in Spanish Society.

"The Disasters Of War" A series of prints describing the horrible events that happened during the Spain's war with France (the Peninsular War of 1808–1814).

After the restoration of the Spanish to power, Goya offered to create paintings about the heroic event so the revolution. He created The Third of May 1808, painted in 1814

At the age of 75, living alone and increasingly concerned that he was going mad,  Goya created "The Black Paintings"
A series of paintings created directly on the walls of his home. They are dark comments on the national and political events happening around Goya. They also depict visions and nightmare images from his imagination.

Detail from The Colossus.

Here is his self portrait in the famous "hat of candles"....

In this remarkable self-portrait that he painted in the early 1790s, Goya is at work on a large upright canvas, presumably a portrait, his eyes turned away from it towards his subject, which contemporary viewers might well have recognized as themselves. Bright sunshine floods from a large window behind the painter, and he wears a curious hat with candle holders on the brim.
It was undoubtedly as a portrait painter that Goya won fame and advancement and the special praise of Carderera, who observed his 'astonishing facility for portrait painting. He customarily painted portraits in a single session and these were the most life-like.' To this Goya's son added a detail that explains the unusual hat, with metal candlesticks around the crown, that he wears in the self-portrait in his studio: 'He painted only in one session, sometimes of ten hours, but never in the late afternoon. The last touches for the better effect of a picture he gave at night, by artificial light.' Goya's biographer, Matheron, also commented on this practice: 'He was so jealous of the effect that - like our Girodet who painted at night, his head crowned with candles - he gave the last touches to his canvases by candlelight.' 
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