The Tourtured Mind of an Artist

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The Tortured Mind of an Artist

Francisco Jose de Goya was born on March 30, 1746 in a small village of Spain called Fuendetodos. Goya´s father was a gilder of altarpieces and his mother was descended from a minor Aragonese family. As a boy, Goya´s family moved to Saragossa where he attended Escuelas Pias, and soon after at the age of 14 he was apprenticed to a local painter Juan Luzan. In hopes of proving his talent, Goya went to Madrid in 1763 to compete for a prize from the Academy of San Fernando; he did not win but met Francisco Bayeu who was influential in forming Goya´s early style. Goya´s formal artistic education as a young man was learned through the teachings of Luzan and his travels to Italy. It was in Italy, that his talent was beginning to become admired when he won the Parma Academy competition, and soon afterwards returned to Spain to participate in several fresco projects.

In returning to Spain in 1773, he was married to Josefa Bayeu the sister of Francisco Bayeu. The couple had many children but unfortunately only one, a son named Xavier made it to adulthood.

After years of fresco projects, Goya began studying Velázquez and would create prints after his paintings. This along with Rembrandt was Goya´s greatest source of inspiration and resulted in a looser, more spontaneous painting technique. Due to this new found style, he was established as a painter of the Spanish aristocracy. After working for Charles III of Spain for over a decade he was appointed first court painter in 1799. It was during this era, 1775 to 1792, upon his return back to Spain that he was praised for his tapestry's that revolutionized this industry that depicted the everyday Spanish life with cartoons.

The turning...