|Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828)
By the 1780s Goya was Spain's leading painter, specializing in religious pictures and portraits. He left a ruthlessly penetrating record of his patrons and private expressions of introspection, moral objectivity, and caustic commentary on his times. A 1792 illness left Goya deaf and mentally broken. He turned inward and began painting dark, disturbing, private works. His etchings expressed his distaste for the corrupt, fanatical establishment, particularly the Church, for whom he worked. During the Napoleonic wars, Goya recorded his reactions to the occupying French army’s atrocities.
By 1814, the repressive Spanish monarchy was restored and Goya resumed painting the royals, whom he portrayed with at times unflattering frankness.