GOYA: THE PORTRAITS - PRIVATE VIEW
The Duchess of Alba, New York Hispanic Society, New York
Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828) is one of Spain's most celebrated artists. He was considered a supremely gifted portrait painter who took the genre of portraiture to new heights. Deeply affected by his deafness, the result of serious illness in his mid-40s, Goya was able to communicate through portraiture. Goya's reputation grew quickly after he secured his first important portrait commission from Spain's Prime Minister, Count Floridablanca. Ambitious and proud of his status, he gained patrons from the entire breadth of Spanish society; from the royal family and aristrocrats, from intellectuals, politicians and military figures, and of course he painted his own friends and family. Goya: The Portraits traces Goya's career from his first commission to his more intimate later works during his self-imposed exile in France - a career that spanned revolution and restoration, war with France and the cultural upheaval of the Spanish Enlightenment.