Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Be Enchanted by Goya's Grotesques; EXHIBITION

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Be Enchanted by Goya's Grotesques; EXHIBITION

Article excerpt

Byline: BEN LUKE

GOYA: THE WITCHES AND OLD WOMEN ALBUM Courtauld Gallery, WC2 IN great museums around the world is a bounty of ink and brush drawings by Francisco Goya, which are among the most imaginative, monstrous and darkly humorous images ever created.

Never intended to be separated, put on public view or prized by grand institutions, they were made in eight albums and shown only to friends.

Goya is at his freest in them, exploring the extremes of his imagination, which teems with the quirks of Spanish life and is scarred and inflamed by the horrors of the 1807-14 Peninsular War.

Through supreme scholarship, the show's curators have painstakingly reassembled the Witches and Old Women Album of 1819-23, from a dozen collections from Berlin to Los Angeles, and are showing the 23 drawings in their original sequence -- the only work missing is lost. A small show, but a gargantuan achievement.

Alongside are related prints and drawings reflecting Goya's fecund vision, such as Nightmare, featuring a woman entangled in her bedsheet on the back of Spanish bull, terrified and terrifying. …

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