VALLADOLID.- The Municipal Exhibition Hall of the Museum of Passion in Valladolid, is hosting through 16 January 2011, 200 prints by Francisco de Goya, belonging to the complete series of "Los Caprichos", "The Disasters of War "and "Bullfight", in an exhibition titled "Goya, The genius of a writer."
The show delves into the particular interpretation of Spain that the great Francisco de Goya (1746-1828) made at the time. Throughout his career his expertise was evident in all genres ranging from portrait to landscape without missing the traditional themes that dictated his time and, of course, not forgetting the war and social issues. Besides numerous techniques mastered, not just drawing or oil but his ability as an engraver took him to keep company with the great masters of this technique.
In 1799 Goya published a series of 80 prints titled Caprichos depicting what he called "...the innumerable foibles and follies to be found in any civilized society, and from the common prejudices and deceitful practices which custom, ignorance, or self-interest have made usual.”
The dark visions depicted in these prints are partly explained by his caption, "The sleep of reason produces monsters". Yet these are not solely bleak in nature and demonstrate the artist's sharp satirical wit, particularly evident in etchings such as Hunting for Teeth. Additionally, one can discern a thread of the macabre running through Goya's work, even in his earlier tapestry cartoons.
In The Third of May, 1808: The Execution of the Defenders of Madrid, Goya attempted to "perpetuate by the means of his brush the most notable and heroic actions of our glorious insurrection against the Tyrant of Europe" The painting does not show an incident that Goya witnessed; rather it was meant as more abstract commentary.
The Disasters of War
In later life Goya bought a house, called Quinta del Sordo ("Deaf Man's House"), and painted many unusual paintings on canvas and on the walls, including references to witchcraft and war. One of these is the famous work Saturn Devouring His Son (known informally in some circles as Devoration or Saturn Eats His Child), which displays a Greco-Roman mythological scene of the god Saturn consuming a child, possibly a reference to Spain's ongoing civil conflicts. Moreover, the painting has been seen as "the most essential to our understanding of the human condition in modern times, just as Michelangelo's Sistine ceiling is essential to understanding the tenor of the 16th century"
This painting is one of 14 in a series known as the Black Paintings. After his death the wall paintings were transferred to canvas and remain some of the best examples of the later period of Goya's life when, deafened and driven half-mad by what was probably an encephalitis of some kind, he decided to free himself from painterly strictures of the time and paint whatever nightmarish visions came to him. Many of these works are in the Prado museum in Madrid.
In the 1810s, Goya created a set of aquatint prints titled The Disasters of War which depict scenes from the Peninsular War. The scenes are singularly disturbing, sometimes macabre in their depiction of battlefield horror, and represent an outraged conscience in the face of death and destruction. The prints were not published until 1863, 35 years after Goya's death.
With information from Wikipedia.org