GOYA: The Portraits


GOYA: The Portraits

XAVIER BRAY    Book Number: 87226    Product format: Hardback

Like all great portraitists, Francisco Goya painted the soul of his sitter, penetrating beyond the finery of his aristocratic and royal subjects. As he worked his way into Madrid's elite court circles, Goya's first big break came in the summer of 1783, when he was commissioned to paint the portraits of the King's younger brother, the Infante Don Luis, and his family. Don Luis was a rake whose exploits were recorded in Casanova's diaries, and when Charles III commanded him to marry he chose a woman 33 years his junior, Maria Teresa. Goya does not flatter him but shows a confident man in middle age, and he uses the occasion to experiment with free and expressive brushwork. Maria Teresa is much more delicately captured; she looks out of the portrait with a direct and candid expression that is hard to interpret. When portrait commissions for the King's family followed, Goya's tact was stretched to the utmost: the Queen was an ageing beauty who had had 24 pregnancies and was now toothless. Goya's depictions of Maria Luisa show her dignified in age, with a hint of those features that had once been celebrated, while the King is benevolent in royal regalia. Throughout the years of his court commissions Goya also painted self-portraits, and like artists such as Rembrandt or the modern Lucian Freud he used these to present himself in a wide variety of roles and painterly styles. Very different again are the portraits from the end of Goya's life, particularly his "Self-Portrait with Doctor Arrieta" from 1820. The doctor saved his life and is depicted vigorously dosing the failing Goya with life-saving medicine. A superb book from the British National Gallery. 270pp, biographies, bibliography, well over 100 full page quality colour reproductions and close-ups. 9" x 11¼".
Published price: £35
Bibliophile price: £12.00


Additional product information

ISBN 9781857095739
Browse this category: Art & Architecture

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