Francisco de Goya was the last of the Spanish Old Masters. He is best known for works
depicting the grotesque consequences of war and the dark side of humanity. Goya's
influence can be seen on such artists as Picasso as well as many contemporary artists.
Goya was just 14 when he became an assistant to Jose Luzan MartiÂnez and by the 1780s he
was in demand as a portraitist, though some were shocked by his work. In 1799 he published
a series of 80 etchings called The Caprichos, in which he attacked the foolishness and
ignorance of Spanish society.
In 1808 Napoleon invaded Spain and his brother Joseph Bonaparte seized the throne. A year
of national mourning was declared after the end of the French occupation of Spain in 1814.
During this time Goya was commissioned to create a series of prints and paintings
including The Third of May 1808 which depicts the atrocities committed by the French. In
1819, Goya began to isolate himself. He bought a country house where he made the intense
and haunting Black Paintings.
His works include The Disasters Of War, The Nude Maja, The Clothed Maja and The Family Of
Charles IV Of Spain. Blind Man's Bluff is an example of his more lyrical Rococo early
works. Goya was a renowned portrait painter, especially for royalty and his work was noted
for his disinclination to flatter.
His style and imaginative treatment is often seen as inspiration for later generations of
artists, including Manet and Picasso.