Goya: The Origins of the Modern Temper in Art

Goya: The Origins of the Modern Temper in Art

Goya: The Origins of the Modern Temper in Art

Goya: The Origins of the Modern Temper in Art

Excerpt

This book is not a monograph but a series of investigations of those aspects of Goya's art that make him specially pertinent to the development of modern art in general and to our times in particular. For those readers who wish to consult a trustworthy and exhaustive monograph, I recommend The Life and Complete Work of Francisco Goya, by Pierre Gassier and Juliet Wilson (New York, 1971). The four-volume catalogue by José Gudiol, besides being unwieldy for most readers, also errs in being far too generous in accepting spurious and peripheral works as autograph paintings. Its photographs also leave a great deal to be desired.

To see Goya's oeuvre in the general context of the new revolutionary spirit of the epoch, it is essential that readers familiarize themselves with Transformations in Late 18th Century Art, by Robert Rosenblum (Princeton, N.J., 1967). To do justice to the theme of art during the revolutionary epoch, I would have had to cite Rosenblum's text on almost every page of the present volume.

The scope of this book also forbade a more thorough and scholarly exploration of portraiture during the late 18th and early 19th centuries, and since portraiture is one of Goya's fundamental genres, this is a serious lack. Unfortunately, no book exists on the specific theme of portraiture during the relevant period. Readers who are interested in learning more about this fascinating topic should consult the masterful article by Edgar Wind, "Humanitätsidee und heroisiertes Porträt in der englischen Kultur des 18. Jahrhunderts" in Vorträge der Bibliothek Warburg, 1930/1931.

Cordial thanks are due to Joan Vass, who first conceived of this slightly unorthodox treatment of Goya's art. She, my wife, and Lou Barron all encouraged me during the long and not always happy vicissitudes that marked the writing of this book.

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