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Goya

Gudiol, Jose

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ISBN 10: 0831707038 / ISBN 13: 9780831707033
Published by Sunflower Books, 1986
Used Condition: Very Good
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Goya

Publisher: Sunflower Books

Publication Date: 1986

Book Condition:Very Good

Edition: First Edition.

About this title

Synopsis:

Goya--the name alone evokes countless masterpieces, both painted and printed: the raw and brutal "Third of May 1808," the nightmarish Caprichos etchings (with the famous motto, "The sleep of reason produces monsters"), the compellingly erotic "Nude Maja" and "Clothed Maja," the savage Disasters of War series and, of course, the late black paintings, with their murky forebodings of public unrest and private turmoil. Although Goya's influence on his contemporaries was minimal (eclipsed as he was at the time by artists trained in the classical style of David and Ingres), it can now be traced clearly from Manet through Picasso to Surrealism, Polke, the Chapman brothers and on.
Nobody expressed the ravages of warfare and the extremes of human experience like Goya; it made him the envy of Picasso, who, as a young artist, copied his signature over and over, as though to absorb the personality and abilities of his one supreme influence. And it is perhaps the wildly imaginative freedoms of Goya's late work that has kept him so contemporary--that, and the palpable emotion in his brushwork, so full of impact and sensation. Here, Jose Gudiol, renowned author of essays and monographs on Velazquez, El Greco and Spanish art, provides a serious introduction to the massive subject that is Goya.

Review:

This paperback edition of the award-winning study of the life and work of Goya is filled with the same fine reproductions as the original 1994 hardcover. Goya was one of Spain's greatest and most controversial painters, famous for incisive portraits and the "black" paintings of his later years. Scholars have often attributed Goya's progression from producing light-hearted court paintings to creating somber images of the Napoleonic wars to the artist's serious illness of 1792, which left him deaf. Writer Janis Tomlinson's aim here is to show a continuity in his work before and after the illness. She sees in Goya's vast output--at least 1,800 works--a vital drive to explore and exploit his personal creativity, which was strengthened by the deafness that cut him off from all but visual communication with the world. With detail supported by formidable research, Tomlinson presents Goya's life chronologically, analyzing his work from icons like the Naked Maya to his Los Caprichos series of etchings with their biting social satire and supernatural imaginings of a world turned upside down. The demonic intensity of Saturn Devouring His Son and Witches Sabbath, painted on the walls of his "Country House of a Deaf Man" at the end of his life, suggest to some the work of an embittered madman. Rather, these disturbing paintings reflect Goya's profound empathy for the victims of a predatory and unjust society--empathy that a modern audience readily shares. --John Stevenson

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