Francisco José de Goya (1746 - 1828)
The noted painter and printmaker was born in Fuendetodos, a village in northern Spain, later settling with his family in Saragossa. In his early teens, he apprenticed to the painter José Luzan, then continued his studies in Italy. Upon his return, he executed a commission for frescoes in the cathedral in Saragossa, which established his reputation. Beginning in 1775, and for the next seventeen years, Goya created designs for the royal tapestry factory in Madrid, providing him with a feel for scenes from everyday life and a broader understanding of the human condition. His style evolved as well, influenced as it was by the work of Velazquez. He became a portrait painter to the Spanish aristocracy, was elected to the Royal Academy of San Fernando in 1780, named painter to the king in 1786, and made a court painter in 1789.
In 1792, Goya became permanently deaf, an isolation that left him increasingly preoccupied with the fantasies and inventions of his imagination and with critical and satirical observations of mankind. He evolved a bold, free new style, and in 1799 he published the Caprichos, a series of etchings satirizing human folly and weakness. Goya's portraits became incisive subjective portrayals of his subjects as he saw them. He expressed his horror of armed conflict in The Disasters of War, a series of starkly realistic etching which were not published until 1863, long after Goya's death. In 1816 he published his etchings on bullfighting, called the Tauromaquia.
In 1824, Goya went into voluntary exile in France. He settled in Bordeaux, where he died.
Etching, ca. 1824 - 1828; Image size 4-3/4” x 7-3/8”; sheet size 9½” x 13”. This impression is a restrike, number five from a total of seven impressions printed by Russell A. Limbach in 1960 at the Davison Art Center, Wesleyan University, for Philip Hofer (1898 - 1984), founder of the Department of Printing and Graphic Arts of the Houghton Library, Harvard University. Ex collection Harold Hugo (1910 - 1985), President of Meriden Gravure Company. A superb, dark impression in fine condition.