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Francisco de Goya y Lucientes

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''You recall that Pickman’s forte was faces. I don’t believe anybody since Goya could put so much of sheer hell into a set of features or a twist of expression.''


Of particular interest are the ''Caprices'' and above all the ''Black Paintings'' executed on the walls of his house at Quienta del Sordo in his old age in sickness and despair. They were never intended for public exhibition and it is to be regretted that the restoration or transfer onto canvas was apparently bungled.


He was a tremendous painter of the grotesque, twisting human features into dried monstrosities, contorted masks of pain or bestial laughter, sub-human and animalistic forms but yet they are not animals but men! However foul and degraded, they remain men, and give us a glimpse of what we are.






Also worthy of study are many of his drawings, etchings and lithographs other than the ''Caprices'' -- the ''Disasters of War'', other unclassified works of prisoners, a garrotted man, of a lunatic and many grotesques.



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We were lucky enough to see the Black Paintings in the Prado a couple of years ago. Although some of them were trimmed etc, it's still an impressive but bleak vision.

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