The author traces the life of the painter Francisco Goya y Lucientes (known simply as Goya) from his early childhood in 18th century Spain to his death, nearly a century later. Goya is apprenticed to a family friend, goes to art school, travels to Italy, and begins his career as a struggling artist in provincial Spain. Through networking and social contacts, he gains commissions from local churches and dignitaries. Word of his talent spreads, and eventually he is appointed to make tapestries, and later portraits, for the king's palace.
Goys slowly develops the distinctive style that made him famous. He also begins to infuse his work with social and political criticism, as well as a profound satirical cynicism. His series of etchings "Los Caprichos", which some view as among Western art's greatest treasures, was a miserable failure during Goya's lifetime, and he died not having one tenth of the fame that his name currently enjoys.
This report prepared by Dani Schwartz