Why Was The Painter Goya Important?


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Francisco Jose de Goya was a prominent Spanish painter, artist and etcher of the 1700s. He lived 1746-1828, and was a favourite of different Royal courts in Spain.

Goya y Lucientes produced detailed portraits of both people and historical events. His portraits are particularly compelling, and revealing studies of the sitter's character.

Goya also painted many scenes of social importance. He was very interested in the ways of ordinary people, and depicted pastoral scenes of folk customs and traditions. Moreover, as he aged he became increasingly concerned with social problems, including poverty and injustice. His art showed oblique and sometimes overt criticisms through metaphoric imagery of the ruling aristrocracy, corrupt church officials, superstitious beliefs, the Spanish Inquisition and exploitation of women.

This level of compassion for, awareness of and interest in ordinary people was nothing short of revolutionary in its day. Goya is often described as an early humanist, and champion of the Spanish Enlightenment.

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