Francisco de Goya y Lucientes

(Spanish, 1746–1828)


Francisco de Goya y Lucientes

Born to a gilder in the small Spanish town of Fuendetodos, Francisco de Goya y Lucientes trained with the painter José Luzán Martínez, in nearby Zaragoza, when Goya was about thirteen years old. In 1763, he went to Madrid with Francisco Bayeu, whose sister Josefa he would marry ten years later. In Madrid, Goya and Martínez worked under Anton Raphael Mengs. Goya twice submitted entries to Royal Academy competitions but without any success. In 1770–71, he visited Italy briefly, studying frescoes and classical sculpture. He was a prolific draftsman, and in 1775, he began working for the Royal Tapestry Factory in Madrid, creating cartoons for tapestries depicting hunts and other leisure scenes. By the time of his election to the Royal Academy in 1780, he had started to become a sought-after portraitist. A favorite artist of the aristocracy, he was appointed painter to King Charles III in 1786 and elevated to court painter three years later. Goya also depicted the harsh realities of everyday life in Spain of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. In the 1790s, after an illness that left him deaf, he began producing increasingly dark and satirical paintings and etchings. Following Napoleon’s invasion of Spain in 1808, Goya engaged more deeply with challenging subjects like religious oppression and the atrocities of war. Nonetheless, throughout Spain’s political upheavals of the early 1800s, he continued painting landscapes, still lifes, and poignant portraits of friends and cultural figures. His Spanish royal patronage continued under Charles IV and Ferdinand VII, but in 1824, he left Spain for Bordeaux, where he died.



Digital Collections

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Past Exhibitions

  • Staff Favorites: Forging My Way

    Isabel Losada, Manager for Membership, didn’t hesitate when asked during a job interview, “What work of art best illustrates your work ethic?” Her answer: Goya’s depiction of three metalworkers engaging in intense labor.