Goya: Truth and Fantasy: The Small Paintings

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9780300058635: Goya: Truth and Fantasy: The Small Paintings

Goya once wrote that painting on a small scale allowed him to give free rein to his fantasy and invention. Intensely expressive and personal, his small paintings at times depict popular subjects - bullfights, open air pantomime and theatrical comedy and at other times reflect the darker side of the eighteenth century imagination, the uncertainty and violence of the era, or the private anxieties of the artist and his society.
This book surveys the small scale works painted by Goya throughout his career. It includes all the surviving sketches for his tapestry cartoons enchanting decorative works still in an eighteenth century idiom, yet also the first paintings in which Goya began to explore a genuinely Spanish vein of realism. Sketches for his major altarpieces, dating from the 1770s to 1820, provide evidence of his ability to work out large-scale compositions on a miniature scale. The little cabinet pictures of 1793-4, painted during convalescence after a near fatal illness, illustrates scenes of fire and shipwreck, brigands, lunatics, bullfights and fairgrounds, and they contain the kernel of the artistic language that he was to develop throughout the rest of his career. The book also discusses and reproduces Goya's tragicomic paintings of witchcraft, the more sombre scenes of violence and resistance, painted as Spain came under Napoleon's domination, his celebrated small portraits and the miniature lowlife scenes he painted while he was in exile in France at the end of his life.
This beautiful book accompanies a major exhibition of Goya's small scale paintings held at the Prado in Madrid in November 1993, the Royal Academy of Arts in London and the Art Institute of Chicago in 1994.

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From Library Journal:

Produced in conjunction with an exhibition traveling to Madrid, London, and Chicago, this richly illustrated catalog focuses on the works created by one of the most influential Spanish artists. Arranged chronologically, chapters feature essays on the life and career of Goya, interwoven with an informative text highlighting both the circumstances of the creation of his works, which range from sketches, tapestry cartoons, and cabinet paintings to portraits and miniatures, and insight into his allegorical, genre, tragicomic, and religious-themed paintings in relation to the constant evolution of his ever-changing styles and techniques. Among the myriad illustrations are reproductions from his "Italian Notebook" of 1771, featuring sketches and thoughts for many of his works. The book concludes with a catalog of works from the exhibition that features the required title and dates, technique, references, provenance, documents, exhibitions, bibliography, and a brief physical description of each work. Recommended for collections focusing on the decorative arts.
Stephen Allan Patrick, East Tennessee State Univ. Lib., Johnson City
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

The catalogue of a traveling international exhibition that opens at the Art Institute of Chicago in July, this stunning volume celebrates Goya's art in all its unruly diversity. The Spanish realist's smaller pictures tend to be more intimate and spontaneous than his larger canvases, yet just as powerful and incisive. In acid satires, political allegories, phantasmagorias of witches and monsters, and scenes of superstition and fanaticism, we see Goya widening the scope of art to reveal the conditions in which unfreedom is created. Also here are penetrating portraits, devotional scenes and images of prisons, asylums, torture, rape, war and assassination. Oxford fine arts professor Wilson-Bareau and other scholars provide highly readable essays to accompany the 250 plates.

Copyright 1994 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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