PHILADELPHIA, PA.- The Arthur Ross Gallery at the University of Pennsylvania presents the exhibit Francisco Goya y Lucientes: Los Caprichos An Early Edition from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Ross through January 7, 2007. This complete set of 80 first-edition prints celebrates the 25th anniversary of associations between the Arthur Ross Foundation and the University of Pennsylvania. With support from Friends of the Arthur Ross Gallery.
Francisco Goya y Lucientes came to maturity in 1775 with the first of some 60 cartoons for the royal tapestry factory of Santa Bárbara, painted through 1792. In 1780 he was elected to the Royal Academy in Madrid and in 1786 was appointed painter to Charles III. By 1799, under the patronage of Charles IV, he had become the most successful and fashionable artist in Spain; his famous The Family of Charles IV was painted at this time (1800). Though he welcomed his honours and success, the record he left of his patrons and their society is ruthlessly penetrating. The eroticism of his famous Naked Maja and Clothed Maja (c. 180005) caused him to be summoned before the Inquisition in 1815. After an illness left him permanently deaf in the 1790s, his work took on an exaggerated realism that borders on caricature. His 80 Caprichos (Caprices; publ. 1799), satirical prints attacking political, social, and religious abuses, marked an outstanding achievement in the history of printmaking. When Napoleon invaded Spain (180815), Goya produced the 82-etching series The Disasters of War (181020). He settled in Bordeaux, France, in 1824, resigned as court painter in 1826, and began working in lithography. He had no immediate followers, but his work profoundly influenced 19th-century European art.