Francisco de Goya Biography

Goya attended Escuelas Pias, a school where he developed a close friendship with Martin Zapatar whom he promised he’d never forget. After graduating from Escuelas Pias, Francisco entered the studio of Jose Lujan, who was an Academic Painter. Goya learned a tremendous amount from Jose; he learned the elementary steps of painting among other valuable things. Goya was a talented man. He played the guitar and was a bull fighter, where he participated in local bull fighting.

After several years, Goya moved to Madrid where he studied with Mengs, a popular painter of the Royal Court. However Francisco and Mengs clashed in terms of personality and art approach therefore Goya left Mengs’ studio and went to study with another painter. Soon after that, Goya moved to Rome where he entered the studio of Francisco Bayeu. There, he learned the art of colour. During Goya’s travels in Italy, Goya was awarded the second prize in a painting competition organized by the city of Parma in January 1771. He continued to be the pupil of Bayeu while his paintings were already becoming popular.

In 1774 Goya married Bayeu’s sister, Josefa, or Pepa, as Goya affectionately called her. Goya’s marriage to Pepa introduced him to the Royal Tapestry Workshop where in five years he designed forty-two patterns for tapestry. He also painted a canvas for the Alter of the Church of San Francisco, El Grande and was appointed a member of the Academy of San Fernando. In 1783 Goya succeeded in being appointed to paint a portrait of King Carlos II and by doing so he became fairly close with the Crown Prince Don Luis and went to live in his house.

In 1792 Goya became deaf from an illness. His feelings and emotions became filled with darkness and ghostly thoughts. His character became more withdrawn and introspective while he devoted himself only to his paintings. Despite his disability, in 1799 Goya was appointed ‘Royal Painter’ and worked by Royal Order to paint the King, Queen and Royal family pictures as well as portraits ‘Princess de la Paz’ and many other nobles. This made Goya very popular amongst other Royalty.

In 1814 Goya isolated himself from everything and bought a house on the outskirts of Manzanares, which became known as the ‘House of the Deaf’. There, he drifted himself from others and painted the famous Black Pictures, a series of dark paintings. Some of the paintings which are known are The Witches Sabbath, The Reading, The Fates and Saturn Devouring His Son. In 1824 Goya left Spain only to return two years later after suffering from another illness. His son Francisco Javier met him and took care of his father.

However, despite his son’s hospitality and kindness Goya decided to return to Bordeaux, where he resided before his illness. Goya carried out his life alone, locked in a closed room. One day he received a message from his son, Javier announcing a visit. This news was very emotionally overwhelming for Goya. Due to his frail condition, the news caused him to breakdown and it unfortunately resulted in his death. Francisco Jose de Goya passed away on April 16th 1826 but his genius work still remains to inspire us.

Physical Description of Saturn Devouring His Son The painting Saturn Devouring his Son is an image of the Roman g-d Saturn, eating one of his children. The painting portrays Saturn as an insane figure with his eyes bulging out of his head and fingers pressed tightly on the back of his child, whom he is devouring and whose head has already been eaten and blood spilling out of the open flesh. The background is black which makes the light coloured limbs of Saturn and his Son to stand out, as well as the madness in Saturn’s eyes. Goya used oil paints and perhaps real blood for an additional affect. The painting portrays an intense haunting theme and I believe it reflects Goya’s thoughts and emotions before he died.

The piece Saturn Devouring His Son is a painting of a Roman g-d fearing a prophecy that one of his children would one day overthrow him which led him to devour all of his children. The expression theory by Tolstoy “holds that art communicates something in the realm of feelings and emotions” (Tolstoy 155). This piece proves Tolstoy’s theory as Goya painted the painting a few years before his lonely death after he isolated himself from the world. The painting transmits negative, sad feelings upon looking at it, just as Goya felt while creating it. “Art conveys knowledge of how to perceive the world around us…the medium of expression in art is neither objective nor subjective. It is the matter of a new experience in which subjective and objective” (Freeland 167) are intertwined.

From this we understand that Freeland is explaining that ones art is influenced not by ones subjective view or by an objective view, but that art is both coming together into one piece if expression with both subjective and objective influencing it. Saturn Devouring His Son conveys knowledge on how Goya perceived the world at the time he painted the piece, as well as how society may have been in the 17th century.

MLA Citation Ediciones

. Minos, A Goya Biograophy, 1961<http://www.eeweems.com/goya/1961_prado_bio.html>

The Answers Family, Francisco Goya<http://www.anwers.com/topic/franciscogoya.html>