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The life of Francisco Goya (1746-1828) coincided with an age of transformation in Spanish history that brought upheavals in the country's politics and at the court which Goya served, changes in society, the devastation of the Iberian Peninsula in the war against Napoleon, and an ensuing period of political instability. In this revelatory biography, Janis Tomlinson draws on a wide range of documents-including letters, court papers, and a sketchbook used by Goya in the early years of his career-to provide a nuanced portrait of a complex and multifaceted painter and printmaker, whose art is synonymous with compelling images of the people, events, and social revolution that defined his life and era.

Tomlinson challenges the popular image of the artist as an isolated figure obsessed with darkness and death, showing how Goya's likeability and ambition contributed to his success at court, and offering new perspectives on his youth, rich family life, extensive travels, and lifelong friendships. She explores the full breadth of his imagery-from scenes inspired by life in Madrid to visions of worlds without reason, from royal portraits to the atrocities of war. She sheds light on the artist's personal trials, including the deaths of six children and the onset of deafness in middle age, but also reconsiders the conventional interpretation of Goya's late years as a period of disillusion, viewing them instead as years of liberated artistic invention, most famously in the murals on the walls of his country house, popularly known as the 'black' paintings.
By:   Janis Tomlinson
Imprint:   Princeton University Pres
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 229mm,  Width: 152mm, 
ISBN:   9780691192048
ISBN 10:   0691192049
Pages:   448
Publication Date:   01 December 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Janis A. Tomlinson has written and lectured extensively on the art of Goya. Her books include Goya: Order and Disorder, Goya: Images of Women, Goya in the Twilight of Enlightenment, and Francisco Goya: The Tapestry Cartoons and Early Career at the Court of Madrid.

Reviews for Goya: A Portrait of the Artist

Tomlinson's meticulous distillation of a voluminous number of parish records, drawings, notes, and letters is impressive, and her knowledge of and passion for Goya continually shine through in her writing, making for a fascinating and insightful reading experience. A top-notch biography. * Kirkus starred review * A Publishers Weekly Top 10 Art, Architecture, & Photography Book of Fall 2020 Goya: A Portrait of the Artist [is] a newly informed chance to reflect on an artist of enigmatic mind and permanent significance. . . . Tomlinson addresses, with refreshing clarity, a chronic question of just how independent, not to say subversive, Goya was of the powers that employed him. . . . She admirably keeps the mysteries of Goya's character distinct from its self-serving machinations. ---Peter Schjeldahl, New Yorker In Goya: A Portrait of the Artist, [Janis Tomlinson shows that] the painter was not the loner that he is sometimes imagined to be. . . . One of the pleasures of Tomlinson's book lies in encountering the unvarnished details of Goya's life; her delineation of the artist's remarkably flexible political allegiances is especially engrossing. ---Andrew Martin, Harper's Magazine In this biography of the last of Spain's old masters, Tomlinson views Francisco Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828) within the context of his age and challenges the conventional interpretation of his late years as a period of disillusion. * Publishers Weekly *

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