Francisco de Goya (Spanish, 1746–1828) was a Neoclassic Painter, highly regarded as one of the Old Masters of art in Europe. Goya was born in Fuendetodos, Northern Spain, but later moved to Saragossa, where his father worked as a gilder. His keen interest in the decorative Rococo Style that was prominent at the time led to his apprenticeship with Jose Luzan Martinez, a local painter who had studied the art in Naples, Italy, under renowned artist Giuseppe Mastroleo (Italian, 1676–1744). The precocious Goya found inspiration in the works of then masters such as Diego Rodriguez de Silva y Velasquez (Spanish, 1599–1660), and Rembrandt Van Rijn (Dutch, 1606–1669).

Eager to learn more, Goya moved to Rome, Italy, for a short period of time around 1771, returning back home about a year later. At this time, he began to work under brothers Francisco Bayeu y Subias (Spanish, 1734–1795) and Ramon Bayeu y Subias (Spanish, 1746–1793) in their Madrid studio. Goya later married their sister. The artist’s membership with the Royal Academy of Fine Arts helped him secure work as a designer with the Royal Tapestry Factory.

Goya''''s obvious talent soon became apparent to the royal aristocracy of his time, and he was made Court Painter in 1786. This was the peak of his career, and some of the renowned works he produced during this period include Duke and Duchess of Osuna, Portraits of King Charles IV, and the Count of Floridablanca. The Spanish nobility became fond of the painter and commissioned him to prepare hundreds of portraits, including the Dutchess of Alba , the 9th Duke of Osuna, the 15th Duke of Medina Sidonia, and the Marchioness of Pontejos. However, the artist suddenly developed an illness between 1792 and 1793, which rendered him deaf, and he withdrew from people, becoming somewhat introspective. In the midst of creating his official commissions and religious paintings, the deaf artist undertook a series of experimental dark paintings, which were published in 1799 under the title Caprichos. Goya''''s painting career took a nosedive after the French invasion of Spain and ensuing restoration of the new Spanish King Ferdinand VII, who was not particularly fond of the painter. His works after the French left Spain included the Disasters of War, The Charge of the Mamelukes, Santa Justa and Santa Rufina, and the Black Paintings. After this period, Goya developed mistrust for the Spanish royalty, and moved to Bordeaux, France, where he died of a stroke in 1828, leaving behind a collection of paintings that remain evocative and poignant up to this day.

Timeline

1746
Born Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes on March 30, 1746 in Fuendetodos, Spain
1760
Apprenticed to Jose Luzan, a local painter
1773
Marries the sister of the court painter, Francisco Bayeu, under whom he had received training in Madrid
1775
Paints cartoons (designs) for the royal tapestry factory in Madrid until 1792
1780
Elected a member of the Royal Academy of San Fernando, Madrid
1785
Appointed deputy director of painting at the Royal Academy of San Fernando
1786
Appointed painter to the king, Charles III
1789
Named court painter
1792
An illness leaves him permanently deaf
1795
Serves as director of painting at the Royal Academy until 1797
1799
Publishes the Caprichos
1808
Charles IV and his son Ferdinand are forced to abdicate in quick succession, Napoleon's brother Joseph is placed on the throne but Goya retains his position as court painter
1814
Ferdinand VII is restored on the throne after the expulsion of the invaders and Goya is pardoned for having served the French king
1824
Goes into voluntary exile in France
1828
Dies on 16 April in Bordeaux