Goya in the Democratic Tradition

Goya in the Democratic Tradition

Goya in the Democratic Tradition

Goya in the Democratic Tradition

Excerpt

The following study does not pretend to be an exhaustive appreciation of Goya's art. Its scope was purposely restricted to the task of reconstructing, as far as possible, the mental atmosphere, the moods and attitudes, and the conscious ideas he expressed in his work. Those attitudes and ideas were rooted, in Goya's case more deeply than in that of many other artists, in the struggles of his people, in the triumphs and disasters of Spain at a momentous turning point of its history. To recapture them it is necessary to examine the social background of Goya's life, and in particular the fortunes of the political movement with which he aligned himself, in detail; necessary, also, to trace the many ties which link his art both with that background and with a great tradition inherited from the past.

The method adopted in this book was, therefore, to describe the general conditions of Spanish life, economic, political, and cultural, and to define the attitude of the various strata of Spanish society to those conditions. Against that wider setting with its clash of material forces and ideas I have attempted to reconstruct Goya's own outlook from what is known of his life and more especially from his paint ings, etchings, and drawings.

I have, in other words, approached the works of Goya primarily by studying their content. From that content I have attempted to deduce both their theme in the narrow sense of the word and their style. I have tried to show that there is a close correlation between the wider social experience which Goya shared with his contemporaries and his own attitude to that experience on the one hand, and the formal characteristics of his style on the other; that, indeed, the many conflicting tendencies of his style development can only be interpreted as the necessarily varying expressions of as many social moods and attitudes.

It was essential for this purpose to present these varied data as a comprehensive, yet subtle, skein of interacting forces, linked with the past and pressing forward into the future; as a combination of action, emotion, conscious . . .

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.