Goya, Francisco de
Spanish artist whose multifarious oil paintings, drawings, and engravings reflected contemporary historical upheavals and influenced important 19th- and 20th-century painters. Like Velaquez, Goya was a Spanish court painter whose best work was done apart from his official duties. Goya is known for his scenes of violence, especially those prompted by the French invasion of Spain. The series of etchings Los desastres de la guerra ("The Disasters of War", 1810-14) records the horrors of the Napoleonic invasion. His masterpieces in oil painting include The Naked Maja and The Clothed Maja (c. 1800-05)..
For the bold technique of his paintings, the haunting satire of his etchings, and his belief that the artist's vision is more important than tradition, Goya is often called "the first of the moderns." His uncompromising portrayal of his times marks the beginning of 19th-century realism.
In 1824, after the failure of an attempt to restore liberal government, Goya went into voluntary exile in France. He settled in Bordeaux, continuing to work until his death there on April 16, 1828. Today many of his best oil paintings hang in Madrid's Prado art museum.
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