Francisco José Goya y Lucientes

Born on March 30, 1746, in Aragon province of Spain. The reason for this man’s two last
names is that it is a Spanish custom to take on both parents’ last names to make a combination
for their own, his father’s last name was Goya and his mother’s, Lucientes, but he is most widely
known by the name Goya. He lived in a very common family of the time, he worked as a gilder
for a short while with his father in the town he was born in, Fuendetodos. But due to the
economical needs of his family, Goya was sent to the fields and he suffered through long days of
manual labor to make ends meet. In Goya’s adolescence, his family moved to Zaragoza because
his father wanted a better life for his family. There he was sent to a parish school where his
artistic talent blossomed. Goya’s father saw the great aspirations of his child so he sent him to
José Luzán’s Art Academy.
Goya was a wild and crazy young man with a very rowdy and “cutting edge” attitude. He
and his lifelong friend, Martin Zapater, always used to cause a few rumbles in the streets of
Zaragoza. But when one of his little rumbles caused some people to die, Goya was forced out of
the religious city. So the young lad of 19 sought out for Madrid. In Madrid he applied for
admission to the Royal Academy of San Fernando. The painting he made for the competition
was rejected, which surprised him because his artwork wasn’t normally rejected. But the
disappointed artist got over it and went to Italy.
In Italy, Goya studied about various Italian artists. In the two years he spent in this
glamorous country he developed a fascination with the work of Giovanni Battista Tiepolo.
Tiepolo’s work intrigued the mind of Goya, and some of Goya’s work has a little of Tiepolo in
it. Studying was not the only thing that kept Goya occupied, he had also entered a painting
contest in Parma where he won second place. Goya also reverted to his rambunctious behavior
which forced him to flee, again.
Goya then went back to Zaragoza where he painted parts of the Lady of Pilar Church.
Here the young artist was introduced to a court painter of the Royal Academy, Francisco Bayeu.
Because of Bayeu’s close connections to King Charles III, Goya was able to get a commission to
design cartoons that depicted stories of Spanish life for the curtains of the palace. He then
painted 45 admirable cartoons which made his work recognizable to the Spanish court. He had
also fallen in love with Bayeu’s sister, Josefa, in the process and he later married her. At this
high point in his life, he received his first great commission, to paint a portrait of the king. This
was a high honor and he knew from that point his life couldn’t get better.
He was right, for his popularity grew greater and greater. Goya was commissioned to
paint the royal family and other prestigious families, churches, chapels, and tapestries were at his
disposal. He held the highest positions an artist could take, from director of the Royal Academy
to royal painter of Charles IV. Goya led a life of joy and glamour, then he met the Dutchess of
Alba. She was an extravagant woman whom he painted many portraits of. But while working
with her he became very sick which resulted in him becoming deaf.
This was the point in his life where he began a duration of solitude which brought out his
analytical side and developed him as a thinker. He began creating etchings which satirized the
political, social, and religious affairs of society. He did this using his studies of expressionism.
Goya, like many other thinkers of his time, was threatened be the Inquisition. Goya then had to
give in to the King’s ways and he continued as his royal painter.
Goya then continued jumping back and forth on the bad side or the good side of his
superiors. His methods had always contradicted with society. His artwork said things that went
against many standards of religion to politics, but he always included his expressionistic ways in
the all of his artwork. He depicted various events and stories through his artwork. From
Napoleon’s invasion to the just the mere Bulls of Bordeaux, Goya always was able to create a
piece which was not only meant to tell a story but to also present the