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6 Pivotal Artworks by Francisco de Goya

The Artist for whom truth was not Always Pretty

Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes— often called simply ‘Goya’ had shown a ‘terrible’ truth-speaking in his paintings.  This eighteenth-century Spanish Artist painted something reflecting the reality of the then time, designed with unprecedented bitterness and ugliness of the reality.

Below we would like to mention his six remarkable paintings that represent the ghoulish reality of that century.

Parasol (1777)

Drawn during his early thirties, Parasol depicts Goya’s talent and perfection in developing facial features.  However, Goya soon would leave this genre and enter into the world of dark aesthetics.

Manuel Osorio Manrique de Zúñiga (1787–88)

This painting shows his transformation from the Old Mater’s styles to his unique ‘dark aesthetics mode’.  Goya here paints three cats staring at a bird with the lust of prey just beside a little boy filled with a sacred smile.

The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters (1797-98)

During the last decade of the eighteenth century, Goya’s art started to become most dangerous and explicit.  “The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters” belongs to this time.  The picture shows a bunch of cats and owls and some ‘mix’ of both, staring ghoulishly, surrounding a person sad enough!  The painting targets the miserable days of then Spain, its sadness and pain.  Undoubtedly he was targeting the monarchy and the power elites of then Europe and Spain.

Naked Maja

During the last decade of the eighteenth century, Goya painted the ‘Naked Maja’ that depicts a naked woman lying in a Titan Venus position.  The artwork describes a mix of the sacred and profane, both looks and ideas.

The Third of May 1808 (1814)

It’s a straight one!  After the invasion of the French troops in Spain in 1807, the nationalist rebels started guerrilla warfare against the new France-determined ruler.  On the 3rd of May, 1808, the French troop started executing hundreds of suspected rebels.  And Goya painted a scene of that night.  A scene that doesn’t merely speak about a massacre— that doesn’t merely represent the violence of that time.  Rather it depicts the antagonism that exists between the ruler and the ruled—that exists between the ‘State’ and the rebels.

Saturn Devouring His Son (1818-23)

This belongs to the series of 14 ‘Black Paintings’ when Goya was in his seventies.  The artwork is based on the famous story of Greek Mythology, where the God of Time devours his child to ensure his survival.  It depicts the degeneration of the then European states that consume their people to ensure their survival.

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