Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de (Spanish, 1746-1828)
Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes, often called the "first of the moderns", was a Spanish artist who passionately reflected political instability in his art and emerged as an important influence for many 19th and 20th-century painters. Born in 1746 in the Spanish town of Fuendetodos, Goya's artistic training began when he apprenticed with a local painter. He later traveled to Italy, then returning to Spain where he painted frescoes for a local cathedral and gained notoriety for his talent. Early in his career, Goya was heavily influenced by fellow Spanish painter, Diego Velasquez. Goya emulated Velazquez' style in order to master particular techniques, as evident in Felipe III Rey de España, a painting he based on a Velazquez' portrait. In 1773, Goya married Josefa Bayeu.
During the next twenty years, Goya became increasingly fashionable amongst the Spanish aristocracy. He was elected to the Royal Academy of San Fernando in 1780, named painter to the king in 1786 and made a court painter in 1789. However, Goya's world was not only one of royalty and aristocrats but was also ripe with armed conflict and violence. Goya became profoundly affected, both emotionally and artistically, by political upheavals in Europe and the grotesque suffering created by warfare and political corruption. Inspired by these controversial subjects, Goya is perhaps known best for his later and rather haunting depictions of war and other such failings of humanity: Los Caprichos (1799), Désastres de la Guerra (Disasters of War, 1810) and Disparates (Absurdities, 1820-1823). Los Caprichos, the series from which Hilan Delgado is taken, is a heavily satirical and pessimistic depiction of Spanish society and its beliefs. It is also considered to be the first of several distinguished print series that Goya produced.
Frustrated by the oppressive political situation in Spain, Goya left for France, in self-exile, where he died in 1828. (Source: Museums and Collections Services)