|Birth Day:||March 30, 1746|
|Death Date:||Apr 16, 1828 (age 82)|
As per our current Database, Francisco Goya died on Apr 16, 1828 (age 82).
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He hoped to study art at the Royal Academy of Fine Art, but he was twice denied admission to the school. He lived in Rome for a time before returning to Saragossa; he was responsible for "Adoration of the Name of God" and a few of the other cupolas on the Basilica of the Pillar.
Francisco Goya was born in Fuendetodos, Aragón, Spain, on 30 March 1746 to José Benito de Goya y Franque and Gracia de Lucientes y Salvador. The family had moved that year from the city of Zaragoza, but there is no record why; likely José was commissioned to work there. They were lower middle-class. José was the son of a notary and of Basque origin, his ancestors being from Zerain, earning his living as a gilder, specialising in religious and decorative craftwork. He oversaw the gilding and most of the ornamentation during the rebuilding of the Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar (Santa Maria del Pilar), the principal cathedral of Zaragoza. Francisco was their fourth child, following his sister Rita (b. 1737), brother Tomás (b. 1739) (who was to follow in his father's trade) and second sister Jacinta (b. 1743). There were two younger sons, Mariano (b. 1750) and Camilo (b. 1753).
At age 14 Goya studied under the painter José Luzán, where he copied stamps for 4 years until he decided to work on his own, as he wrote later on "paint from my invention". He moved to Madrid to study with Anton Raphael Mengs, a popular painter with Spanish royalty. He clashed with his master, and his examinations were unsatisfactory. Goya submitted entries for the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in 1763 and 1766, but was denied entrance.
In 1771 he won second prize in a painting competition organized by the City of Parma. That year he returned to Zaragoza and painted elements of the cupolas of the Basilica of the Pillar (including Adoration of the Name of God), a cycle of frescoes for the monastic church of the Charterhouse of Aula Dei, and the frescoes of the Sobradiel Palace. He studied with the Aragonese artist Francisco Bayeu y Subías and his painting began to show signs of the delicate tonalities for which he became famous. He befriended Francisco Bayeu, and married his sister Josefa (he nicknamed her "Pepa") on 25 July 1773. Their first child, Antonio Juan Ramon Carlos, was born on 29 August 1774.
In 1783, the Count of Floridablanca, favorite of King Charles III, commissioned Goya to paint his portrait. He became friends with the King's half-brother Luis, and spent two summers working on portraits of both the Infante and his family. During the 1780s, his circle of patrons grew to include the Duke and Duchess of Osuna, the King and other notable people of the kingdom whom he painted. In 1786, Goya was given a salaried position as painter to Charles III.
Goya was appointed court painter to Charles IV in 1789. The following year he became First Court Painter, with a salary of 50,000 reales and an allowance of 500 ducats for a coach. He painted portraits of the king and the queen, and the Spanish Prime Minister Manuel de Godoy and many other nobles. These portraits are notable for their disinclination to flatter; his Charles IV of Spain and His Family is an especially brutal assessment of a royal family. Modern interpreters view the portrait as satirical; it is thought to reveal the corruption behind the rule of Charles IV. Under his reign his wife Louisa was thought to have had the real power, and thus Goya placed her at the center of the group portrait. From the back left of the painting one can see the artist himself looking out at the viewer, and the painting behind the family depicts Lot and his daughters, thus once again echoing the underlying message of corruption and decay.
At some time between late 1792 and early 1793 an undiagnosed illness left Goya deaf. He became withdrawn and introspective while the direction and tone of his work changed. He began the series of aquatinted etchings, published in 1799 as the Caprichos—completed in parallel with the more official commissions of portraits and religious paintings. In 1799 Goya published 80 Caprichos prints depicting what he described as "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 visions in these prints are partly explained by the caption "The sleep of reason produces monsters". Yet these are not solely bleak; they demonstrate the artist's sharp satirical wit, particularly evident in etchings such as Hunting for Teeth.
Goya earned commissions from the highest ranks of the Spanish nobility, including Pedro Téllez-Girón, 9th Duke of Osuna and his wife María Josefa Pimentel, 12th Countess-Duchess of Benavente, José Álvarez de Toledo, Duke of Alba and his wife María del Pilar de Silva, and María Ana de Pontejos y Sandoval, Marchioness of Pontejos. In 1801 he painted Godoy in a commission to commemorate the victory in the brief War of the Oranges against Portugal. The two were friends, even if Goya's 1801 portrait is usually seen as satire. Yet even after Godoy's fall from grace the politician referred to the artist in warm terms. Godoy saw himself as instrumental in the publication of the Caprichos and is widely believed to have commissioned La maja desnuda.
His mother's family had pretensions of nobility and the house, a modest brick cottage, was owned by her family and, perhaps fancifully, bore their crest. About 1749 José and Gracia bought a home in Zaragoza and were able to return to live in the city. Although there are no surviving records, it is thought that Goya may have attended the Escuelas Pías de San Antón, which offered free schooling. His education seems to have been adequate but not enlightening; he had reading, writing and numeracy, and some knowledge of the classics. According to Robert Hughes the artist "seems to have taken no more interest than a carpenter in philosophical or theological matters, and his views on painting ... were very down to earth: Goya was no theoretician." At school he formed a close and lifelong friendship with fellow pupil Martín Zapater; the 131 letters Goya wrote to him from 1775 until Zapater's death in 1803 give valuable insight into Goya's early years at the court in Madrid.
La Maja Desnuda (La maja desnuda) has been described as "the first totally profane life-size female nude in Western art" without pretense to allegorical or mythological meaning. The identity of the Majas is uncertain. The most popularly cited models are the Duchess of Alba, with whom Goya was sometimes thought to have had an affair, and Pepita Tudó, mistress of Manuel de Godoy. Neither theory has been verified, and it remains as likely that the paintings represent an idealized composite. The paintings were never publicly exhibited during Goya's lifetime and were owned by Godoy. In 1808 all Godoy's property was seized by Ferdinand VII after his fall from power and exile, and in 1813 the Inquisition confiscated both works as 'obscene', returning them in 1836 to the Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando. In 1798 he painted luminous and airy scenes for the pendentives and cupola of the Real Ermita (Chapel) of San Antonio de la Florida in Madrid. Many of these depict miracles of Saint Anthony of Padua set in the midst of contemporary Madrid.
The French army invaded Spain in 1808, leading to the Peninsular War of 1808–1814. The extent of Goya's involvement with the court of the "Intruder king", Joseph I, the brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, is not known; he painted works for French patrons and sympathisers, but kept neutral during the fighting. After the restoration of the Spanish king Ferdinand VII in 1814, Goya denied any involvement with the French. By the time of his wife Josefa's death in 1812, he was painting The Second of May 1808 and The Third of May 1808, and preparing the series of etchings later known as The Disasters of War (Los desastres de la guerra). Ferdinand VII returned to Spain in 1814 but relations with Goya were not cordial. The artist completed portraits of the king for a variety of ministries, but not for the king himself.
Although Goya did not make his intention known when creating The Disasters of War, art historians view them as a visual protest against the violence of the 1808 Dos de Mayo Uprising, the subsequent Peninsular War and the move against liberalism in the aftermath of the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy in 1814. 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. They were 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 criticising both the French and restored Bourbons.
Not much is known about her beyond her fiery temperament. She was likely related to the Goicoechea family, a wealthy dynasty into which the artist's son, the feckless Javier, had married. It is known that Leocadia had an unhappy marriage with a jeweler, Isidore Weiss, but was separated from him since 1811, after he had accused her of "illicit conduct". She had two children before that time, and bore a third, Rosario, in 1814 when she was 26. Isidore was not the father, and it has often been speculated—although with little firm evidence—that the child belonged to Goya. There has been much speculation that Goya and Weiss were romantically linked; however, it is more likely the affection between them was sentimental.
Goya died on 16 April 1828. Leocadia was left nothing in Goya's will; mistresses were often omitted in such circumstances, but it is also likely that he did not want to dwell on his mortality by thinking about or revising his will. She wrote to a number of Goya's friends to complain of her exclusion but many of her friends were Goya's also and by then were old men or had died, and did not reply. Largely destitute, she moved into rented accommodation, later passing on her copy of the Caprichos for free.
Currently, Francisco Goya is 275 years, 5 months and 21 days old. Francisco Goya will celebrate 276th birthday on a Wednesday 30th of March 2022.
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