Francisco de Goya was a Spanish romantic painter, to whom the specialists regard as to the last from the Old Masters. Being a court painter to the Spanish Crown, he painted multiple churches, done portraits of monarchs of those times.
Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes a Spanish painter and printmaker was born on March 30th 1746 in Fuendetodos - a small village in northern Spain. In the family of Jose Goya, Francisco was the youngest out of three sons. All of Goya brothers managed to get a basic education.
In 1763 Goya moved to Madrid, where he tried to enroll the Royal Academy of Fine Art of San Fernando, but he failed. Nevertheless, the young artist did not give up on his dream and soon became a student of the court painter Francisco Bayeu, and after studying for a while he tried enrolling the Academy for the second time in 1766, being unsuccessful again. Despite his failure, he took part in a competition held by Parma Academy of Arts in 1771 and won second prize for his historical painting of legendary Hannibal.
A while after the competition he returned to Spain, and in 1772 he was commissioned to paint a fresco on the ceiling of the church of Nuestra Señora del Pilar in Zaragoza. Over the next ten years Goya was receiving multiple orders from churches located in Zaragoza and cities nearby.
In 1773 he married Bayeu’s sister Josefa. Francisco’s membership of the Royal Academy of Fine Art helped Goya to receive several prestigious and profitable orders that allowed him to become famous among the artists. In 1774 Goya moved from Zaragoza to Madrid, where he started the first series of sketches for the Royal Tapestry Factory of Santa Barbara, a job that was primary for Goya up to 1780.
In 1780 Goya finally got accepted to the Royal Academy of Fine Art. His pass to the Academy was a painting "Crucifixion" performed in academic style. In 1785 Goya he was given a position as painter to Charles III. After the death of Charles III in 1788 the life of Goya made a sharp turn. The new king, Charles IV granted Francisco the honorary title of the court painter. Showered with royal favor, Goya became the most popular and fashionable portrait painter among the Madrid aristocracy, although he never refused to work for churches. It is during those years he wrote the famous altarpiece "St. Bernadine of Siena preaching before Alfonso V of Aragon".
During the winter of 1792-93 Goya went to Cadiz to visit his friend Sebastian Martinez. There he suddenly suffered from a mysterious illness that paralyzed him and caused a partial loss of vision, which put his life on the edge between life and death for the next few months.
Hardly recovered, Goya returned to work and painted a series of small paintings, which he did for therapeutic purposes only. These small paintings mark a turning pointe in the creative biography of Goya, as since that time the strange images generated by fantasy began to dominate his work. In 1795, after the death of Bayeu, Goya became the director of the Royal Academy of Fine Art.
During the French occupation, Goya retained his position of a court painter that did not prevent him from painting a portrait of the Duke of Wellington in 1812, who was the came to be the enemy of Joseph Bonaparte. After Ferdinand VII returned to Spain the artist was strongly criticized for his cooperation with the occupiers. This, however, did not affect his position; soon after he bought a house in suburbs of Madrid and called it the "House of the Deaf." He painted the walls of his house with oil, depicting his bitter disappointment in life and fantastic nightmares.
In 1824, after the new wave of repression was unleashed by the tyrannical regime of Ferdinand VII, Goya, who did not want to put up with such policy, went into voluntary exile. Last years of his life he spent in France in Bordeaux, where he died on April 16th 1828 at the age 82. His ashes were brought home and buried in the Madrid church of San Antonio de la Florida, the same church, the walls and the ceiling of which were once painted by Francisco de Goya.
Francisco de Goya was a man that was not only the commentator of the era, but was a chronicler as well, who documented the war in his masterpieces. The latter imaginative elements in his paintings that Goya acquired after his illness provided a certain model for artist of the generations to come.