Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828)

Having completed his apprenticeship in Zaragoza under José Luzán, Goya moved to Madrid around 1763 to continue his studies. He married in 1774, raising a family of 24 children. Goya was a popular portraitist in aristocratic circles. In 1789, Charles IV appointed him painter to the Spanish court. For years he was to enjoy close contact with the Spanish royals. During the Napoleonic War he portrayed the horrors of the conflict in a series of vivid pictures. His paintings of this period form a shocking contemporary record. Goya was a highly innovative painter, draughtsman and etcher: he refused to be bound by tradition and followed his own path, allowing his fantasy free rein in his prints. In 1793, an illness left him totally deaf, and his subsequent work possesses a bitter, pessimistic undertone. In 1824 Goya settled in Bordeaux, where he died two years later.

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