Francisco Goya Biography


Birthday: March 30, 1746 (Aries)

Born In: Fuendetodos

Francisco Goya was a famous Spanish painter, who rose to popularity for his commissioned portraits of the Spanish nobility. His portraits were unique creations of how he saw things and captured them on the canvas without artificially beautifying them. Considered to be the greatest Spanish painter during the late 18th century and early 19th century, his exemplary portraits, paintings, etches and murals marked the start of the contemporary painting era. After struggling and trying to establish himself as a painter at several places, he found initial success while studying and painting under Aragonese painter, Francisco Bayeu y Subias. His employment at the Royal Tapestry Factory helped him strengthen his career over the next few years, creating numerous cartoons inspired from everyday life, several of which were used to beautify the two Spanish royal palaces. He went on to compose portraits of various royal families, thus earning reputation as a portrait artist. Besides, he created a series of masterpieces, which beacon his distinct style and talent, some of them being ‘The Black Paintings’, ‘The Disasters of War’, ‘The Naked Maja’, ‘The Clothed Maja’, and ‘The Third of May 1808’. His works have largely influenced the later generation of artists during the 20th century, especially Pablo Picasso, Paul Cezanne Edgar Degas, Francis Bacon, and Edouard Manet.
Quick Facts

Spanish Celebrities Born In March

Nick Name: Goya

Also Known As: Francisco de Goya, Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes

Died At Age: 82


Spouse/Ex-: Josefa Bayeu, Leocadia Weiss

father: José Benito de Goya y Franque

mother: Gracia de Lucientes y Salvador

children: Javier Goya, Maria del Rosario Weiss

Quotes By Francisco Goya Hispanic Painters

Died on: April 16, 1828

place of death: Bordeaux

Childhood & Early Life
Francisco Jose de Goya y Lucientes was born on March 30, 1746, in Fuendetodos, Aragon, Spain, to master gilder Jose Benito de Goya y Franque and Gracia de Lucientes y Salvador.
His family moved to Saragossa some years later where he started working as an apprentice under painter Jose Luzan at the age of 14.
He learnt painting by imitating the works of great masters for the first four years and later moved to Madrid to study under German painter Anton Raphael Mengs.
He applied to the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in 1763 and 1766, but was denied admission on both occasions.
He moved to Rome where he was runner up at a painting competition in 1771 and returned to Saragossa for various projects before studying under Francisco Bayeu y Subias which brought him initial success and recognition.
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His introduction to royal workshops in 1774 by Mengs to paint tapestry cartoons for the Royal Tapestry Factory in Madrid proved as a boon to his artistic development.
He completed more than 60 cartoons over the next five years depicting scenes from everyday life, several of which were used to adorn the two royal Spanish residences at San Lorenzo del Escorial and El Pardo.
He was appointed as a painter at the royal court in 1779 and elected as a member of the Royal Academy of Fine Art in 1780.
He started getting recognition as a portrait artist among various royal circles, composing portraits for the Count of Floridablanca, Crown Prince Don Luis, and the Duke and Duchess of Osuna.
He was appointed as a court painter under Charles IV in 1789 and became a salaried painter in 1799, eventually capturing numerous Spanish nobles, like 9th Duke of Osuna, Maria del Pilar de Silva, and Pedro Tellez-Giron, on the canvas.
He became completely deaf in 1792 after suffering from a serious illness, following which he tried his hand at experimental paintings, including aquatinted etchings and portraits of women, eventually changing his style to a great extent.
In 1799, he released a series of 80 etchings, compiled as ‘Caprichos’, illustrating repression and corruption prevailing during that period.
Major Works
‘The Nude Maja’ (1800) and ‘The Clothed Maja’ (1803) are said to be his best compositions, illustrating a woman in nude and clothed positions, respectively.
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His ‘Disasters of War’, created during the 1810s, was believed to be a representation of the Dos de Mayo Uprising during the 1808, which led to the Peninsular War of 1808-1814.
He painted ‘The Third of May 1808’ and ‘The Charge of the Mamelukes’ in 1814, portraying the horrors of the Peninsular War fought between Spain and France and the subsequent loss of human lives.
His major works during 1814-19 included print series of ‘La Tauromaquia’, etchings of ‘Los Disparates’, and altarpiece of Santa Justa and Santa Rufina for the Cathedral of Seville.
He created a group of 14 paintings, known as the ‘Black Paintings’, as murals on the walls of his house outside Madrid, probably during 1819-1823, which were removed and transferred onto canvas, some 50 years after his death.
Personal Life & Legacy
In 1773, he married his art teacher Bayeu’s sister, Josefa Bayeu y Subias. Though the couple had several children, but only one survived to adulthood – their son Xavier.
He moved to the outskirts of Madrid, where he purchased a house along River Manzanares called Quinta del Sordo (Deaf Man’s Villa) in 1819, but relocated to Bordeaux in 1824 and later Paris.
He returned to Spain in 1826, but went back to Bordeaux where he suffered a stroke in 1828 and died in April, aged 82.
He was laid to rest in Bordeaux but his remains were exhumed and interred at the Royal Chapel of St. Anthony of La Florida, Madrid, in 1919.
A number of movies have been made depicting his life, some being ‘The Naked Maja’ (1958), ‘Goya in Bordeaux’ (1999), ‘Goya’s Ghosts’ (2006), and documentary ‘Goya – Crazy Like a Genius’ (2012).

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