Wednesday, March 01, 2023

A Portrait

Francisco Goya (1746 -1828) "Vicente María Vera de Aragón, Duke of Roca"

At the San Diego Museum of Art we viewed a room dedicated to portraits from European painters who were active during the last several hundred years. Goya’s painting of the Duke of Roca shows an old man who knows he is important. The work dates from 1795, when the artist was at his most successful as a court painter. 

Goya, I know, was very successful at pleasing the nobility and royalty of Spain of his day, but at the end of his days his work showed a very dark and pessimistic vision of a completely different world. Seeing this depiction of a very proper nobleman made me wonder about Goya — what was he thinking when he painted the Duke? Here are the two much later works (which I’ve viewed in Spain) that seemed in my mind’s eye to be such a great contrast.

“The Third of May, 1808” — Goya’s commemoration of Spanish resistance to Napoleon’s occupation.

“Saturn eating his children”
Did Goya see this years before, in the face of the Duke?



Jenn Jilks said...

They really are powerful pieces of art!

eileeninmd said...

The last one is disturbing compared to the Duke.
Maybe something terrible happened to him near his end.
Have a great day!

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

If I hadn't been told these were by the same artist, I would never have imagined. I read years ago (and not sure if it's true) that Goya became deaf in his late years and more than likely had lead poisoning, causing dementia. Still, that last painting is truly bizarre.

Linda said...

Wow, so intriguing! His painting of the revolution is famous.

Jeanie said...

I'm more familiar with Goya's later work than his earlier. A handsome portrait!