The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Tuesday, September 17, 2019

More than 60 of Goya's most outstanding portraits on view at the National Gallery, London
Visitors look at paintings "The Duke of Osuna around 1795" (L), "The Duke and Duchess of Osuna and their Children 1788" (C), and "The Countess-Duchess of Benavente 1785 by Spanish artist Francisco de Goya during a press preview of "Goya, The Portraits" at the National Gallery in London on October 6, 2015. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLIS.

LONDON (AFP).- Spanish painter Francisco de Goya's stark portrayals of Spanish aristocrats, intellectuals and fellow artists in a major new exhibition at the National Gallery in London aims to show him as "the best ever portrait artist".

The exhibition, which opens on Wednesday, brings together from around the world around 70 portraits by the celebrated artist who lived between 1746 and 1828.

The works make up almost half of the 150 Goya portraits that still survive today, and account for a third of his total known output.

"Nobody has ever done an exhibition just with portraits because it's a bit risky. People might get bored," exhibition curator Xavier Bray told AFP.

But Bray said the show illustrates the variety of Goya's art from the energy and luminosity in "The Family of the Infante Don Luis de Borbon" to the gloominess of a self-portrait of the dying artist.

"Goya is eccentric as a painter. Sometimes the hands don't look right, sometimes the body looks a bit funny and English people are usually critical of these imperfections," Bray said.

"But the important thing is that when people leave they should think he is the best ever portrait artist... Manet, Picasso or Lucien Freud are in the same artistic tradition as Goya," he said.

Among the works in the exhibition is a series of self-portraits from different periods of his life which show his artistic evolution with age.

One of the highlights is the portrait of the duchess of Alba from 1797.

The portrait of the aristocrat dressed in black -- she was mourning the death of her husband -- has been one of the great mysteries of his work.

The words "siempre Goya" (Goya forever) can be seen by her feet.

In a biography on Goya, Robert Hughes saw this as a declaration of love for the duchess, who was rumoured to be his lover.

But Bray said it was most likely an expression of artistic authenticity.

"It means 'only Goya can paint me'. They had a platonic relationship. Goya was fascinated by this woman, who was extremely beautiful and also an eccentric. He was obsessed with her," he told AFP.

The Prado Museum in Madrid has loaned 10 paintings for the exhibition, which runs until January 10, 2016, with the others coming from Brazil, Mexico, Sweden and the United States.

Critics have responded mostly enthusiastically.

The Daily Telegraph called it "one of the shows of the decade".

It said the exhibition revealed "an artist whose unflinching portrayals of humanity still feel risky 200 years on".

"Goya had an enviable and slightly scary ability to make people look highly intelligent... and extremely stupid."

© 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse

Today's News

October 7, 2015

More than 60 of Goya's most outstanding portraits on view at the National Gallery, London

George Eastman House in Rochester announces new name: George Eastman Museum

First major exhibition in the United States of the work of Ishiuchi Miyako opens at the Getty

First major U.S. monographic exhibition on Andrea del Sarto opens at the Frick Collection

The Sven Gahlin Collection totals £4,560,716 at Sotheby's; Double pre-sale estimate

Very rare four-rotor Enigma Machine leads Sale of Cipher Machines at Bonhams

Phillips to offer important collection of 32 Lucian Freud etchings during Frieze Week

Susan Strickler, Currier Museum of Art director and CEO since 1996, to retire in June 2016

Small is Beautiful: Christie's announces sale of quality works with accessible prices

Art critic and curator Marc-Olivier Wahler appointed advisor to de Appel arts centre

British artist Glenn Brown to be Gagosian Gallery's featured artist at Frieze

Hall of Fame third baseman Brooks Robinson to sell his personal collection through Heritage Auctions

WIELS presents the retrospective exhibition Interregnum by Stan Douglas

Whyte's forthcoming auction of History & Literture will comprise over 300 lots

Sotheby's to sell a special-edition watch by IWC to benefit the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation

Mother-of-pearl tray makes world record £962,500 in Bonhams' Islamic and Indian Art sale

Danh Vo opens site-specific project for the Palacio de Cristal in Madrid

Exhibition at Throckmorton Fine Art presents works by nine Mexican women photographers

"Independent Visions: Women Artists of California, 1880-1940" on view at the Irvine Museum

Puerto Rican Light (Cueva Vientos) by Allora & Calzadilla opens in Puerto Rico

"See Glasgow-See Sculpture": An exhibition of sculptures with a Glasgow connection by Tom Allan

Chun Eui-Young selected as the Director of Gwangju Folly III

Thomas Demand's "Modellstudien" opens at the Siza Pavilion

Five female artists unveiled as shortlist for Max Mara Art Prize for Women

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Holocaust 'masterpiece' causes uproar at Venice film festival

2.- To be unveiled at Sotheby's: One of the greatest collections of Orientalist paintings ever assembled

3.- Bender Gallery features paintings by up and coming Chicago artist Michael Hedges

4.- Lévy Gorvy exhibits new and historic works by French master in his centenary year

5.- Artificial Intelligence as good as Mahler? Austrian orchestra performs symphony with twist

6.- Fascinating new exhibition explores enduring artistic bond between Scotland and Italy

7.- Exhibition explores the process of Japanese-style woodblock production

8.- Robert Frank, photographer of America's underbelly, dead at 94

9.- The truth behind the legend of patriot Paul Revere revealed in a new exhibition at New-York Historical Society

10.- Hitler bust found in cellar of French Senate

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful