Francisco Goya was a well-known Spanish painter known for his commissioned portraits of the Spanish nobility. His portraits were one-of-a-kind expressions of how he perceived things and recorded them on canvas without embellishment. His excellent portraits, paintings, etches, and murals marked the beginning of the contemporary painting era. He was considered the best Spanish painter throughout the late 18th and early 19th centuries. He obtained first success while learning and painting under Aragonese painter Francisco Bayeu y Subias after struggling and trying to establish himself as a painter in numerous locales. Over the next few years, his work at the Royal Tapestry Factory helped him advance his career, as he created numerous cartoons based on everyday life, some of which were used to decorate the two Spanish royal palaces. He went on to paint portraits of several royal families, establishing himself a reputation as a portrait painter. Aside from that, he made a number of masterpieces, including ‘The Black Paintings,’ ‘The Disasters of War,’ ‘The Naked Maja,’ ‘The Clothed Maja,’ and ‘The Third of May 1808,’ among others. His work impacted a generation of artists, including Pablo Picasso, Paul Cezanne, Edgar Degas, Francis Bacon, and Edouard Manet, in the twentieth century.
Childhood and Adolescence
On March 30, 1746, in Fuendetodos, Aragon, Spain, Francisco Jose de Goya y Lucientes was born to master gilder Jose Benito de Goya y Franque and Gracia de Lucientes y Salvador. His family relocated to Saragossa a few years later, and at the age of 14, he began working as an apprentice under painter Jose Luzan. For the first four years, he learned to paint by copying the works of great painters, then travelled to Madrid to study under German painter Anton Raphael Mengs. In 1763 and 1766, he applied to the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, but was denied entrance both times. He travelled to Rome in 1771, where he finished second in a painting competition, and then returned to Saragossa for a number of projects before learning under Francisco Bayeu y Subias, who gave him his first taste of success and fame.
Career of Francisco
In 1774, Mengs introduced him to royal workshops to paint tapestry cartoons for the Royal Tapestry Factory in Madrid, which proved to be a benefit to his artistic development. Over the next five years, he produced more than 60 cartoons depicting ordinary scenes, some of which were chosen to decorate the two royal Spanish residences of San Lorenzo del Escorial and El Pardo. In 1779, he was assigned as a painter to the royal court, and in 1780, he was elected to the Royal Academy of Fine Art. He began to gain a reputation as a portrait artist within various royal circles, doing portraits for the Count of Floridablanca, Crown Prince Don Luis, and the Duke and Duchess of Osuna, among others.
In 1789, he was appointed as a court painter by Charles IV, and in 1799, he became a salaried painter, capturing various Spanish aristocrats on canvas, including the 9th Duke of Osuna, Maria del Pilar de Silva, and Pedro Tellez-Giron. After becoming fully deaf in 1792 as a result of a major illness, he tried his hand at experimental works, such as aquatinted etchings and female portraits, eventually changing his style dramatically. In 1799, he published ‘Caprichos,’ a collection of 80 etchings that depicted the tyranny and corruption that prevailed at the time.
Major Works of Francisco
‘The Nude Maja’ (1800) and ‘The Clothed Maja’ (1803), depicting a lady in nude and clothed poses, respectively, are thought to be his best creations. His 1810 painting ‘Disasters of War’ was thought to be a portrayal of the 1808 Dos de Mayo Uprising, which led to the Peninsular War of 1808-1814. In 1814, he painted ‘The Third of May 1808’ and ‘The Charge of the Mamelukes,’ depicting the atrocities of the Peninsular War between Spain and France, as well as the resulting loss of human life. ‘La Tauromaquia’ print series, etchings of ‘Los Disparates,’ and altarpiece of Santa Justa and Santa Rufina for the Cathedral of Seville were among his significant works from 1814 to 1819. He painted a series of 14 murals on the walls of his residence outside of Madrid, known as the ‘Black Paintings,’ between 1819 and 1823, which were removed and transferred to canvas some 50 years after his death.
Personal History and Legacy
In 1773, he married Josefa Bayeu y Subias, the sister of his art master Bayeu. Despite the fact that the couple had multiple children, only one – their son Xavier – lived to adulthood. In 1819, he moved to the outskirts of Madrid, where he bought Quinta del Sordo (Deaf Man’s Villa) by the River Manzanares, but then traveled to Bordeaux and then Paris. In 1826, he returned to Spain, but returned to Bordeaux in 1828, when he suffered a stroke and died in April at the age of 82. He was buried at Bordeaux, but his body was unearthed and reinterred in Madrid’s Royal Chapel of St. Anthony of La Florida in 1919. ‘The Naked Maja’ (1958), ‘Goya in Bordeaux’ (1999), ‘Goya’s Ghosts’ (2006), and the documentary ‘Goya – Crazy Like a Genius’ are just a few of the films that have been made about his life (2012).
Estimated Net Worth
Francisco is one of the wealthiest painters, as well as one of the most popular. Francisco de Goya’s net worth is estimated to be $5 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.