Goyas Black Roberts Daughter
Goya Timeline / Bio Sketch
Francisco Goya - 1746-1828
000 - Goya at 69 self portrait
spanish painter late romantic (precursor of realism). last of the old masters, first of the moderns (Robert Hughes, others). lived 1746-1828.
his models were "Velazquez, Rembrandt, and Nature"
Velázquez - court painter to Philip IV, Baroque, (June 6, 1599 – August 6, 1660) Rembrandt Harmnszoon van Rijn - dutch painter and etcher (15 July 1606 – 4 October 1669) Nature
worked in the court for 40 years. painter, etcher, cartoons.
lived through period of great violence and turmoil in spain. court painter for 40 years (1767)
inquisition (1480 - 1834) rise, fall, rise fall etc., of the Borbón Dynasty (1700-1808, 1813-1868, 1875-1931, 1975-present) peninsula war (1807-1814, napoleon vs UK, Spain, Portugal) spanish constitution (1812, Cortes)
Ferdinand VII abolished constitution (1814), reinstated absolute monarchy, prosecuted liberalism reinstated inquisition. return to conservative values
goya's life (1746-1828) period of great tumult for spain, he was really mixed up in it in some ways.
Quinta del Sordo The House of the Deaf Man"
00 - exterior photo
purchased in 1819. on the banks of the Manzanares near Madrid
named after a previous occupant who had been deaf, although Goya had also been left deaf after contracting a fever in 1792.
born in 1746, so he was 72-73 when he moved in. lived there with Leocadia Weiss (b. 1790, 35 years younger) and her daughter. subject of his paintings? lost faith in restored monarchy, retreated to Bordeaux in 1824 until death in 1828
00b - layout of paintings
14 paintings, seven each floor
painted directly on the wall
in two rooms, one on the first floor and one on the second dining room (downstairs) and reception room (upstairs).
transferred to canvas in 1873–74 under the supervision of Salvador Martínez Cubells, a curator at the Museo del Prado. The owner, Baron Emile d'Erlanger, donated the canvases to the Spanish state in 1881, and they are now on display at the Museo del Prado.
photos taken by J Laurent prior to removal. you can see frames, walls, etc. 1873-4.
never discussed, exhibited, anything by goya during his lifetime (50 years later)
titles are speculation, assigned by others. (in contrast to his usual practice)
Tour of the Paintings
01 - La Leocadia - Doña Leocadia Weiss - 57" x 51"
a woman commonly identified as Goya's maid, companion and (most likely lover) Leocadia Weiss
01b - photo by Laurent.
02 - Witches Sabbath (The Great He-Goat) - 55" x 170" other Witches Sabbath (1798) 17" x 12"
02b - witches sabbath 1798
02c - photo by Jean Laurent, 1873 - 1874 balance was shifted
off balance (characteristic of this time) similar to
02d -Tauromaquia - Unfortunate events in the front seats of the ring of Madrid, and the death of the Mayor of Torrejón. 1815-1816
03 - Saturn Devouring his Son - 56.3" x 31.9"
03b - Ruben's Saturn 1636 flemish baroque painter. held by Prado now.
04 - Judith and Holofernes - 56.5 x 32.0"
05b - Judith Slaying Holofernes, Artemisia Gentileschi 1611-12 the more famous
05 - The Pilgrimage of San Isidro - 140 x 438cm pilgrimage towards the Hermitage of Madrid. drunken, distortion compared to
05b - Meadow of San Isidro. 1788. 44 x 94cm bucolic
06 - Two Old Men - 146 x 66cm 'symbolic portrait' Xavier de Salas
06b - I am Still Learning. chalk on paper. 1824. 19.5 x 15 cm
07 - Two Old People Eating - 49.3 x 83.4 over the door, perhaps to kitchen
08 - Atropos the fates - 123 x 266 cm beside the Fight with Cudgels and across from the Fantastic Vision.
three fates. Atropos, the inexorable goddess of death, who carries a few scissors to cut the thread of life; Clotho, with her distaff (which Goya replaces with a doll or newborn child, possibly an allegory of life), and Lachesis, the spinning one, which in this representation looks across a lens or in a mirror and symbolizes time, since she was the one who measured the length of the fiber.
nocturnal atmosphere (greed out)
these are UGLY! compare to other fates.
09 - duel with Cudgels - 123 x 266cm up to there knees in mud 09b, 09c - NC Wyeth, Robinson Crusoe, Giant
10 - men reading - 125.3cm x 65.2cm counterpoint to women laughing
11 - women laughing - 125.4cm x 65.4cm counterpoint to men reading masturbating? women laughing?
12 - Promenade of the Holy Office - 123-265 cm
The Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition
figures in 17th century dress, we can assume that there is a connection with the steps taken by Ferdinand Vll to revive the inquisition soon after his restoration to the throne. (Salas)
13 - Asmodea - 123-265cm Asmodeus - is a king of demons mostly known from the deuterocanonical Book of Tobias. Also in Prometheus, minerva carries asmodeus to the caucus mountains. male flyer shooting at the fates or the people retreating.
14 - the dog - 130-84cm
use of empty space
14d -Tauromaquia - Unfortunate events in the front seats of the ring of Madrid, and the death of the Mayor of Torrejón. 1815-1816
"naked power with which Goya has played off void against solid, black against light, empty space against full" (Robert Hughes, 2004)
15 - quinta del sorde - layout
court painter for 40 years (1767)
inquisition (1480 - 1834) Borbón Dynasty (1700-1808, 1813-1868, 1875-1931, 1975-present) peninsula war (1807-1814, napoleon vs UK, Spain, Portugal) constitution (1812, Cortes)
Ferdinand VII reinstated absolute monarchy (1823), prosecuted liberalism reinstated inquisition. return to conservative values
Work as Court Painter
court painter to Charles II + IV, 1786 First Court-Painter 1799
Charles IV and Family modeled after Las Meninas, Velazquez (1656) "the corner baker and his wife after they won the lottery" (Théophile Gautier 1811-1872 french critic)
for tapestries at Royal Palace of El Pardo
The Parasol - 104 x 152cm oil on linen, 1777 Blind Man's Bluff - 269 cm × 350 cm, oil on linen, 1989
Los Caprichos - 1799 Goya described the series as depicting "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"
published, then withdraw after threats from the inquisition.
Disasters of War - 1810-1820. 82 prints inspired by the Peninsular War prefigured wartime photojournalism. opponent of inquisition and absolute monarchy.
Disasters of War are "caprichos enfáticos" ("emphatic caprices")
visual protest against the violence of the 1808 Dos de Mayo Uprising, the subsequent Peninsular War of 1808–14 and the setbacks to the liberal cause following the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy in 1814.
1808, the people of Madrid rebelled against the occupation of the city by French troops, provoking a brutal repression by the French Imperial forces and triggering the Peninsular War
not published until 1863, 35 years after his death. It is likely that only then was it considered politically safe to distribute a sequence of artworks criticizing both the French and restored Bourbons
Biography - Goya's health
15 - self portrait at 69 years (four years prior, 1815)
In 1792, Goya developed a sudden serious illness which included dizziness, weakness, delirium, sickness, abdominal pain, deafness, and partial blindness. By the time he returned to Madrid, in 1793, Goya was completely deaf. Various diagnoses of this serious illness have been offered: syphilis, lead poisoning, cerebrovascular disease, acute infection of the central nervous system, and the rare condition of Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada syndrome—temporary inflammation of the uveal tract associated with permanent deafness
16 - Self Portrait with Dr Arrieta - 1820 - 46 x 31"
Inscription Reads: "Goya, in gratitude to his friend Arrieta: for the compassion and care with which he saved his life during the acute and dangerous illness he suffered towards the end of the year 1819 in his seventy-third year"
lived 8 more years.
this, combined with his political, artistic history (royal service), common lense to read the work.
Artistic Strategies, Methods
- color black darkness, atmospheric, color as mood. with exceptions.
rough usage of paint, sketchy 07 - Two Old People Eating
similar to his other work but darker in color and subject matter typical. maybe a bit crude. he's getting old.
-tone darkness. 'black paintings'
02 - Witches Sabbath (The Great He-Goat) - 55" x 170" against 02b - witches sabbath 1798
05 - The Pilgrimage of San Isidro against 05b - Meadow of San Isidro. 1788. 44 x 94cm bucolic
not to say his other work isn't dark madrid - 3rd of may 1808, 1814.
disasters of war. (same time almost)
revisiting themes witches. pilgrimage. his own work
02 - Witches Sabbath (The Great He-Goat) 02c - photo by Jean Laurent, 1873 - 1874 balance was shifted
off balance (characteristic of this time) similar to 02d -Tauromaquia - Unfortunate events in the front seats of the ring of Madrid, and the death of the Mayor of Torrejón. 1815-1816
14 - dog
- Scale? what to go from prints to painting... many of his large paintings had been commissions or in service of royal.
paintings to scale of the rooms. see in laurent? laurent - asmodea
changed in removal from house 02 - Witches Sabbath (The Great He-Goat) compared to laurent - witches sabbath.
- Themes common mythological and secular themes
03 - Saturn Devouring his Son - 56.3" x 31.9" compared to 03b - Ruben's Saturn 1636 flemish baroque painter. held by Prado now.
04 - Judith and Holofernes - 56.5 x 32.0" compared to the more famous 04b - Judith Slaying Holofernes, Artemisia Gentileschi 1611-12
the fates, atropos.
some of this has to do with historians penchant for mythology, choices in naming as Goya didn't title these or clue them in. Thus we are left guessing.
03 - Saturn 04 - Holofernes
06 - Two Old Men 01 - La Leocadia
10 - Men Reading 11 - Women Laughing grouped around windows, doors
large paintings with large paintings
- emphasis on the face
empathetic relation between viewer and the other (depicted) often anguished. grotesque.
03 - saturn 05 - pilgrimage to san isidro 12 - promenade of holy office
-responding to specifics of the space kitchen 07 - Des Viejos Comiendo over the kitchen (???) bracketed by Old Men and La Leucadia.
what do you see when you enter: Saturn and Judith
flanking window on second floor 12 - Promenade and 13 - Asmodea
of meaning no explanatory text no declaration of intent (compared to caprichos) he never mentioned or wrote about any of the "Black Paintings"
who are these people in the images? who are they supposed to be? contrasted to his Family Charles IV, for instance, or self portraits?
what is he trying to communicate?
who is his audience? who were these produced for and how were they used?
a lot of coded meaning
-inclusion of autobiographical material in coded, oblique manner oblique, crypto-portraiture.
06 - Two Old Men goya is old man? deaf. devil shouting in his ear? I am still Learning, 1824-28
01 - La Leocadia is dona leocadia weiss, his maid, companion, etc?
-DIRECTNESS OF GESTURE painting directly on the walls, in your home.
- IMPLICATION OF IDENTITY in the reading of the piece
clues in biography
site specific, not just as a response to the particularities of la quinta del sordo (aside from coincidence of naming, constraints of wall size), but the fact of it being his home
art you choose to live with versus art you sell, show, whatever...
constructing an environment to inhabit.
- Signifying System (???)
of iconography (conjecture) mythical - Holofernes, Saturn, The Fates, Asmodeus
quasi systems art. "derive their value solely through their assigned context" work individually, but also signify in a network of meaning.
episodic narrative - fighting, flying, eaten, soldiers, pilgrimage, structured, episodic. no key, no characters. hints of narrative
Leucadia, funeral morning? whose funeral.
To what extent do these function as a signifying system, in service of a unifying narrative, personal need, whatever?