Francisco de Goya
Francisco Goya (born Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes in Fuendetodos, Aragón, Spain) was a Spanish visual artist best known for his romantic painting and printmaking. Goya spent much of his artistic career as a court painter to the Spanish Crown, eventually attaining the highest ranking position possible as Primer Pintor de Camara, or Prime Court Painter, in 1799.
After a severe illness left him without hearing, his artwork began to take on a much darker aura. This pessimistic, and at times gruesome, outlook present in his works became more transparent in his printmaking series Disasters of War as well as a number of his paintings from the early 19th century, such as The Third of May 1808. Having remained in Spain for the duration of Napoleon’s Spanish invasion, it is assumed that Goya was haunted by the disturbing viscerality of war. The Peninsular War may have influenced his Black Paintings of 1819-23, which were painted directly onto the walls of his home.
In 1824 Goya left his Spanish home to retire in France, spending his final years between Bordeaux and Paris. Goya’s artworks have inspired many of his contemporaries, including Pablo Picasso when creating his now iconic masterpiece Guernica, 1937.