Francisco de Goya (Biographical details)

Francisco de Goya (printmaker; painter/draughtsman; Spanish; Male; 1746 - 1828)

Also known as

Goya y Lucientes, Francisco José de; Goya, Francisco de; Goya, Francisco


Born in Fuendetodos (near Saragossa, Aragon) 30 March 1746 and died Bordeaux 16 April 1828; one of the most celebrated Spanish artists, known of by 1801 as the 'Apelles of Spain' and his great body of works includes some 700 paintings, 900 drawings and almost 300 prints and served three generations of Spanish monarchs; King Charles III and IV and Ferdinand VII. In his teens studied in Saragossa under José Luzán Martínez (1710-1785) for four years who had painted in Naples when it was under the rule of the future King Charles III of Spain; in 1764 and 1766 Goya entered the competitions of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid but failed; undaunted went to Rome to study past art; returned to Saragossa in 1771 and began to enjoy some success, eventually being asked in 1774 to work on designs for the Royal Tapestry Factory by Anton Raphael Mengs (q.v.); in 1780 elected to the Real Academia de Bellas Artes and eventually became its Director of Painting (or Professor of Painting), rose too to become First Painter to Charles IV and María Luisa in 1799, the year which saw the publication of 'Los Caprichos'; thereafter partly as a result of the Napoleonic war and the ensuing political situation he received fewer official commissions and devoted much of his time to his own private work; moved to Bordeaux in 1824 which lent its name to a number of volumes of drawings (now dismembered) and the set of four lithographs 'Bulls of Bordeaux' (1825).

Goya donated in 1803 the plates of his 'Los Caprichos' to the Royal Chalcography (set up in 1789, later the Calcografía National) and following the subsequent acquisition of almost all of his other plates editions of them have been regularly printed since the mid-nineteenth century.


Tomás Harris, 'Goya: Engravings and Lithographs' (2 vols). Bruno Cassirer, Oxford 1964; Juliet Wilson-Bareau, 'Goya's prints: The Tomás Harris Collection in the British Museum'. British Museum Press 1981; C. Wiebel, 'Aquatinta', Coburg, 2007, pp.303-329 ( for a discussion of his aquatints); Eleanor A.Sayre, The Changing Image, prints by Francisco Goya, Boston (Museum of Fine Art) 1974. For the individual seriesof prints that show the preparatory drawings, plates and the prints see J. Manuel Matilla &     J. Miguel Medrano'El libro de la Tauromaquia. Francisco de Goya', Madrid 2001; J. Blas, J. M. Matilla, M. Medrano, 'El libro de los Caprichos. Dos siglos de interpretaciones (1799-1999). Catálogo de los dibujos, pruebas de estado, láminas de cobre y estamps de la primera edición' Madrid 1999.