goya prints

Goya Prints

The Great He Goat Print by Goya

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The Story Behind these Goya Prints

Goya (1746-1828) was a Spanish painter and printmaker during the era of Romanticism. He led a troubled and mysterious life, driven by inner anguish and truth-seeking. The darker side of humanity resonated with Goya and he expressed the existential crises of society throughout his artwork.

From 1786 onwards, he painted for the royal family, acting as the Deputy Director of Painting for King Charles III and the First Court Painter for King Charles IV. Many art historians theorise about his sly commentary of the royal family and politicians throughout his paintings, where he placed Queen Louisa at the centre of a family portrait and other characters were portrayed in an unflattering way.

Goya’s life was plagued with illness and sorrow including becoming deaf after he was struck by an illness in 1793 and losing 7 of his 8 children before they reached adulthood. In his older age, Goya prints became progressively bleaker and more deranged, depicting occult phenomena and disturbing characters, such as in The Great He Goat which he completed around 1823. It is said that this depiction of the witches' sabbath was to protest the witch hunts that had happened during the Spanish Inquisition in the 17th century.