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Can't Anyone Untie Us It is Time This of course was not everything that Goya put in Los Caprichos but I think that it provides a definite insight into his thinking and state of mind at this point in his life. Senex Magister Goya's art is remarkable in that his whole style and approach to painting changed in his mature years. This change coincided with a mystery illness the artist contracted in It took Goya many years to fully return to painting and etching and during the recuperation period, divested of his commissioned workload, he experimented greatly in style. Upon returning to painting and etching at the end of the s, Goya had thrown off the influence of the rococo; his art gained a significantly darker, original tone. Not only had his style changed but his choice of subject matter too. He became markedly more interested in the grim everyday reality of Spain and the Spanish people. His characters, often twisted, grizzled and contorted depictions of the poor, the ignorant or the insane arguably reflected the mounting social tensions between old, "black" Spain of tradition and superstition and the modernizing influence of an increasingly rationalizing Europe. In he was appointed First Court Painter with a salary of 50, reales and ducats for a coach. He worked on the cupola of the Hermitage of San Antonio de la Florida; he painted the King and the Queen, royal family pictures, portraits of the Prince of the Peace and many other nobles. His portraits are notable for their disinclination to flatter, and in the case of The Family of Charles IV, the lack of visual diplomacy is remarkable. The artist gave the cupola a heaven entirely devoid of celestial beings. The figures we see instead are pious, happy and boisterous human beings. Not all of them are watching the miracle being performed by St Anthony, who is bringing a dead man back to life so that the latter can reveal who murdered him. Manuel Godoy, Duke of Alcudia, 'Prince of the Peace' This portrait was painted between July and October to commemorate the victory in Portugal, the War of the Oranges, so-called because Godoy, Chief Minister, is said to have sent a gift of oranges to the Queen in celebration. The Portuguese banners prominent in the foreground were awarded to Godoy in July and in October he was made Generalissimo of land and sea, which entitled him to wear a blue sash in place of the red sash of Captain General, which he wears here. Goya has portrayed Godoy in an elaborate and unusual composition, in a reclining posture reminiscent of some of his paintings of women on couches, seemingly inappropriate for the hero of a military victory. Goya's portrait hints at disrespect for the pomposity of his sitter, though Godoy was an important patron, a collector on a grand scale, for whom Goya painted many works including the famous portrait of his wife, the Countess of Chinchon. Godoy was also owner of the two Majas and may even have commissioned them. Goya's friendship with liberal ministers, such as Jovellanos and Saavedra, did not affect the relationship between the First Court Painter and the Chief Minister, whose rapid rise to power, attributed to his liaison with the Queen, made him notorious. Godoy must have been aware of the fact that he had been and still was the target of Goya's satirical wit in several plates of Los Caprichos, the ass looking up his genealogy in a book illustrated with row after row of asses, for instance, and in the etching entitled Birds of a Feather Tal para qual. Yet despite all this, Godoy in his Memoirs written years later in France referred to Goya's Caprichos with pride as if he had been responsible for their publication. Charles IV and his Family: The eyes of Goya are directed towards the spectator as if he were looking at the whole scene in a mirror. The somewhat awkward arrangement of the figures suggests, however, that he composed the group in his studio from sketches made from life. Goya is known to have made four journeys to Aranjuez in to paint ten portraits of the royal family. Since there are 12 figures in the group it is likely that the woman seen in profile and the woman whose head is turned away — the only two whose identity is uncertain were not present at the time. For some unknown reason this was the last occasion that Goya is known to have painted any member of this royal family, except for the future Ferdinand VII, who stands in the foreground on the left. The unusual figure composition on the wall behind the group has been identified as Lot and his Daughters, but no such painting has been identified. Goya received orders from many friends within the Spanish nobility. When Goya was stricken with the mysterious illness that paralyzed him for a time, she arranged devotedly for his care. The full figure portrait can be interpreted as fervent thanks for her friendship. The painter has put his affection into the picture in a dedication written in the sand, to which the Duchess pointing: Goya wanted to show her to posterity with a mild but watchful gaze. Her candid expression is emphasized by the raised brows and the framing curly hair. The palette is reduced to a few colours, the landscape is bare and the simplicity of the handling may stand for the sincerity of their friendship. Goya kept the painting, intending never to part with it. Goya painted the Duchess two years later, dressed in black lace, and the motto to which she is pointing betrays their relationship: She was a prominent figure in Madrid society. Goya's relations with the Duchess were such that they have led to the suggestion that she posed for La Maja Desnuda. She is also recognizable in several plates of Los Caprichos and in one unpublished etching, which seems to record an estrangement from the artist. The name Alba on the ring on the Duchess's third finger and Goya on that on the downward-pointing index finger are in themselves evidence of Goya's intimacy with his sitter. The inscription on the ground at the Duchess's feet, to which her finger points only uncovered in modern times , reads Solo Goya, the word solo 'only' strengthening the assumption that they were lovers. The stiff figure with its expressionless face is, however, more like the puppet-like figures of the tapestry cartoons than a portrait of a familiar sitter. A year after his marriage, he inherited the dukedom of Medina-Sidonia and joined two of the most important Houses of the Spanish nobility. The failed attempt of his friend Alejandro Malaspina to oust Queen Maria Louisa's favorite Manuel de Godoy in favor of the Duke of Alba put an early end to the political career of the progressive aristocrat. In a famous portrait painting by Goya, the duke is clad in elegant riding clothes. The duke commissioned several works from Joseph Haydn and was a gifted musician himself. In his painting, Goya subtly combines the symbols of his model's passion for music and equestrian skills viola or violin, riding boots and riding hat with the neoclassical interior of the ducal residence. At that time, her husband served as Spain's ambassador to Portugal. As French forces invaded Spain during the Peninsular War , the new Spanish court received him as had its predecessors. The Charge of the Mamelukes: The two scenes that he recorded are not victorious battles but acts of anonymous heroism in the face of defeat. Here the people of Madrid armed with knives and rough weapons are seen attacking a group of mounted Egyptian soldiers Mamelukes and a cuirassier of the Imperial army. The composition, without a focal point or emphasis on any single action, creates a vivid impression of actuality, as if Goya had not only witnessed the scene as he is alleged to have done but had recorded it on the spot. The Third of May The Execution of the Defenders of Madrid Painted at the same time as The Second of May, Goya here represents another of the 'most notable and heroic actions The insurrection of the people of Madrid against the Napoleonic army was savagely punished by arrests and executions continuing throughout the night of 2 May and the following morning. Whether Goya saw for himself or knew them by hearsay only, the military executions of civilians is a theme that evidently impressed him deeply. He represented it in several etchings of Los Desastres de la Guerra and in some small paintings as well as in this monumental picture. Here the drama is enacted against a barren hill beneath a night sky. The light of an enormous lantern on the ground between the victims and their executioners picks out the white shirt of the terrified kneeling figure with outstretched arms. The postures, gestures and expressions of the madrilenos and the closed impersonal line of the backs of the soldiers facing them with levelled muskets, emphasize the horror of the scene. The dramatic qualities of this composition, with its pity for the execution of the anonymous victims and its celebration of their heroism, inspired Manet's several versions of the Execution of Maximilian. He continued to work incessantly on portraits, pictures of Santa Justa and Santa Rufina, lithographs, pictures of tauromachy, and more. With the idea of isolating himself, he bought a house near Manzanares, which was known as the Quinta del Sordo roughly, "House of the Deaf Man", titled after its previous owner and not Goya himself. There he made the Black Paintings. The year-old monarch proceeded to hound Spain's liberals, with whom Goya was closely affiliated. Anxious to keep his post and salary as Court Painter, Goya executed six portraits of the King, none of them commissioned. Excluded from a role in the government, he became the center of intrigues against the chief minister Godoy and attempted to win the support of Napoleon I. In he was arrested by his father, who accused him of plotting his overthrow and the murder of his mother and Godoy. He was soon forgiven, but the prestige of the family was shaken, and this facilitated Napoleon's invasion of Spain see Peninsular War. A palace revolution at Aranjuez caused the dismissal of Godoy and the abdication of Charles in favor of Ferdinand, who was enthusiastically acclaimed by the people. Ferdinand was soon persuaded to cross the French border and meet Napoleon at Bayonne. There he was forced to renounce his throne in favor of Charles IV, who in turn resigned his rights to Napoleon. The emperor gave the Spanish throne to Joseph Bonaparte. During the Peninsular War Ferdinand was imprisoned in France. Throughout the Spanish Empire his name was the rallying cry of revolutionary elements. When Ferdinand was restored to his throne, however, he promptly abolished the liberal constitution and revealed himself a thorough reactionary. After several unsuccessful uprisings, the Spanish liberals who had organized in secret societies such as the Carbonari staged a successful revolution in and forced the king to reinstate the constitution of The Holy Alliance became alarmed, and the Congress of Troppau was summoned to deal with the Spanish situation. The powers reached no decision, but in at Verona France was delegated by the Holy Alliance to undertake military intervention in Spain and to restore Ferdinand to absolute power. Ferdinand, backed by French arms, revoked the constitution in , and ruthless repression followed. Ferdinand's death caused no less trouble than his reign. His fourth wife, Maria Christina , had persuaded him to set aside the Salic Law so that their only child, Isabella, might succeed to the throne, thus excluding Ferdinand's brother, Don Carlos , from the succession. The Carlist Wars ensued. During Ferdinand's reign, the Spanish colonies on the mainland of North and South America were lost through the very rebellions that had begun as risings in his favor and against Napoleon. Unsettled and discontented, he left Spain in May for Bordeaux and Paris. He settled in Bordeaux. He returned to Spain in after another period of ill health. Despite a warm welcome, he returned to Bordeaux where he died in at the age of His themes range from merry festivals for tapestry, draft cartoons, to scenes of war and corpses. This evolution reflects the darkening of his temper. Modern physicians suspect that the lead in his pigments poisoned him and caused his deafness since Near the end of his life, he became reclusive and produced frightening and obscure paintings of insanity, madness, and fantasy. The styles of these Black Paintings prefigure the expressionist movement. He often painted himself into the foreground. They depict the same woman in the same pose, naked and clothed, respectively. He painted La maja vestida after outrage in Spanish society over the previous Desnuda.
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