National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION

Tour: Francisco de Goya (Spanish, 1746-1828)
Overview

« back to gallery

Goya was one of Spain’s greatest painters and an internationally influential printmaker during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes, after training in Saragossa and traveling in Italy, married the daughter of the Spanish court artist. The next year, 1774, Goya received his first royal commission—painting decorative scenes of daily life to be woven into tapestries. In 1799 he was appointed first court painter, the highest artistic position attainable.

Goya’s earliest portraits reflect the airy landscape settings and shimmering pastel colors of his tapestry designs. As he matured, and particularly after he lost his hearing due to a serious illness in 1792, Goya increasingly sought psychological characterizations of his sitters, often spotlighting them against dark, shadowed backgrounds.

« back to gallery