José de Goya y Lucientes (March
30, 1746 – April 16, 1828) was
a Aragonese Spanish painter and printmaker.
Goya was a court painter to the Spanish
Crown and a chronicler of history. He
has been regarded both as the last of
the Old Masters and as the first of
the moderns. Many of Goya's works are
on display in the Museo del Prado in
The Black Paintings are a group of
paintings by Francisco Goya created
in the later years of his life (1819-1823)
that portray intense, haunting themes.
In 1819 at the age of 72, Goya moved
into a two-story house outside of Madrid
called "Quinta del Sordo,"
or "Deaf man's villa". Although
the house had been named after the previous
owner who was deaf, Goya was himself
deaf at the time as a result of an illness
he suffered at the age of 46.
After the Napoleonic Wars and the turmoil
of the Spanish government, Goya developed
an embittered attitude towards humanity.
He had an acute awareness of panic,
terror, fear, and hysteria. Also surviving
two near-fatal illnesses, Goya grew
increasingly anxious and impatient in
fear of relapse. These factors combined
are thought to have led to his production
of 14 works known as the Black Paintings.
Using oil paints and working directly
onto the walls of his dining and sitting
rooms, Goya created intense, haunting
works with dark themes. The paintings
were not commissioned, and they were
not meant to leave his home. He did
not title the paintings, but art historians
have since provided titles.
1797-98; Oil on canvas, 16 1/2 x 11
3/4"; Lazaro Galdiano Foundation,
Another of Goya's dark paletted works
from the Black Paintings collection
is titled The Great He-Goat or Witches'
Sabbath (El aquelarre). Earlier, Goya
created a version of this work in a
more cheerful and optimistic way, however,
this image is ominous and gloomy. This
earth-toned illustration shows Goya's
demonstration of the ancient belief
that the Sabbath was a meeting of witches
supervised by the devil, who took the
form of a goat. The goat is painted
completely black and appears as a silhouette
in front of a crowd of witches and warlocks.
These "sub-humans" have sunken
eyes and near horrifying features. The
figures huddle together, leaning towards
the devil. Only one girl seems resistant
to the crowd, and she sits at the far
right, dressed in black holding a muff.
Though she does not appear involved
in the ritual, she does seem to be captivated
by the group's relationship to the devil.
Goya was born in Fuendetodos, Spain,
in the kingdom of Aragón in 1746
to Joseph Goya and Gracia Lucientes.
He spent his childhood in Fuendetodos,
where his family lived in a house bearing
the family crest of his mother. His
father earned his living as a gilder.
About 1749, the family bought a house
in the city of Zaragoza and some years
later moved into it.
Goya attended school at Escuelas Pias,
where he formed a close friendship with
Martin Zapater, and their correspondence
over the years became valuable material
for biographies of Goya. At age 14,
he entered apprenticeship with the painter
He later moved to Madrid where he studied
with Anton Raphael Mengs, a painter
who was popular with Spanish royalty.
He clashed with his master, and his
examinations were unsatisfactory. Goya
submitted entries for the Royal Academy
of Fine Art in 1763 and 1766, but was
He then journeyed to Rome, where in
1771 he won second prize in a painting
competition organized by the City of
Parma. Later that year, he returned
to Zaragoza and painted a part of the
cupola of the Basilica of the Pillar,
frescoes of the oratory of the cloisters
of Aula Dei, and the frescoes of the
Sobradiel Palace. He studied with Francisco
Bayeu y Subías and his painting
began to show signs of the delicate
tonalities for which he became known.
1808-12 (120 Kb); Oil on canvas, 45
3/4 x 41 1/4 in; Museo del Prado, Madrid
As French forces invaded
Spain during the Peninsular War (1808–1814),
the new Spanish court received him as
had its predecessors.
When Pepa died in 1812, Goya was painting
The Charge of the Mamelukes and The
Third of May 1808, and preparing the
series of prints known as The Disasters
of War (Los desastres de la guerra).
King Ferdinand VII came back to Spain
but relations with Goya were not cordial.
In 1814 Goya was living with his housekeeper
Doña Leocadia and her illegitimate
daughter, Rosario Weiss; the young woman
studied painting with Goya, who may
have been her father. He continued
to work incessantly on portraits, pictures
of Santa Justa and Santa Rufina, lithographs,
pictures of tauromachy, and more.
With the idea of isolating himself,
he bought a house near Manzanares, which
was known as the Quinta del Sordo (roughly,
"House of the Deaf Man").
There he made the Black Paintings.
Francisco Goya y Lucientes
(Spanish, 1746-1828), The sleep of reason
Unsettled and discontented, he left
Spain in May 1824 for Bordeaux and Paris.
He settled in Bordeaux. He returned
to Spain in 1826 after another period
of ill health. Despite a warm welcome,
he returned to Bordeaux where he died
in 1828 at the age of 82.
In a period of convalescence during
1793–94, Goya completed a set
of eleven small pictures painted on
tin; the pictures known as Fantasy and
Invention mark a significant change
in his art. These paintings no longer
represent the world of popular carnival,
but rather a dark, dramatic realm of
fantasy and nightmare.
Courtyard with Lunatics is a horrifying
and imaginary vision of loneliness,
fear and social alienation, a departure
from the rather more superficial treatment
of mental illness in the works of earlier
artists such as Hogarth. In this painting,
the ground, sealed by masonry blocks
and iron gate, is occupied by patients
and a single warden. The patients are
variously staring, sitting, posturing,
wrestling, grimacing or disciplining
themselves. The top of the picture vanishes
with sunlight, emphasizing the nightmarish
This picture can be read as an indictment
of the widespread punitive treatment
of the insane, who were confined with
criminals, put in iron manacles, and
subjected to physical punishment. And
this intention is to be taken into consideration
since one of the essential goals of
the enlightenment was to reform the
prisons and asylums, a subject common
in the writings of Voltaire and others.
The condemnation of brutality towards
prisoners (whether they were criminals
or insane) was the subject of many of
Goya’s later paintings.
Truth has Died by Goya
As he completed this painting, Goya
was himself undergoing a physical and
mental breakdown. It was a few weeks
after the French declaration of war
on Spain, and Goya’s illness was
developing. A contemporary reported,
“the noises in his head and deafness
aren’t improving, yet his vision
is much better and he is back in control
of his balance.” His symptoms
may indicate a prolonged viral encephalitis
or possibly a series of miniature strokes
resulting from high blood pressure and
affecting hearing and balance centers
in the brain.
Other postmortem diagnostic assessment
points toward paranoid dementia due
to unknown brain trauma (perhaps due
to the unknown illness which he reported).
If this is the case, from here on -
we see an insidious assault of his faculties,
manifesting as paranoid features in
his paintings, culminating in his black
paintings and especially "Saturn
Devouring His Sons."
BY THE TOUCH OF AN ARTISAN SOUL
AND WOOD CLAY AND FABRIC DOES THE INANIMATE
ACTUALLY HAVE A SOUL? OR IS IT INFUSED
BY THE TOUCH OF THE UNEXPLAINED POWER
OF THE ARTIST IMAGINATION?
MORE TO READ HERE<
HOLY PRINTS, POSTER AND STATUES: It's
not haunted it's a Miracle!
of bleeding statues ad icons have been
around for many centuries. now adays
it is not just paintings but actual
posters and prints also. We often hear
these stories during lent each year
and most often how the public reacts.
See: Haunted Museum
Can inanimate objects such as paintings
be haunted? Strange images appear in
haunted paintings, and at other times
it is just the feeling that it imparts
in us. Some are haunted great works
of art, others by something in a painting
that bothers them. Can contemporary
and those of the old masters be actually
haunted? Are is it just imagined?