March 30, 2005

Goya:The Cartoons

(Click this link for Googled info on "The Parasol".)

I think there is an intimacy and empathy in these paintings that reveal a characteristic trait I see in all his work. What is nice is as cartoons, these are a means to an end, an instruction for the objective of creating tapestries, (much like contemporary architectural sketches on trace, much of which are lost to history) and as such have a measure of guilessness. Sweetness. Selflessness.

An explanatory text, ripped from this fine website:

Philip V ordered the creation of the Real F?brica de Tapices de Santa B?rbara1 in 1720 in order to provide tapestries for the Court after the loss of the Spanish territories in Flanders and the interruption of supplies from Brussels to the Spanish Crown.

In theory Goya painted for the F?brica from 1775 to 1800, although his final work was completed in 1793 and he did no work from 1780 to 1786. For twelve years he produced no less than sixty three cartoons as models for the Royal Family's tapestries.


Here, an elevation describing how a tapestry would be hung on site. I know little about the actual tapestries, I would love to see them someday... if they still exist.

Further mining the Info*96*Goya website, I found a description of his sketchbooks, eight albums. What is striking is that he kept discipline in grouping subject matter: in one album duels, another of hunters and fishermen... but always a chronicle of life around him. It is remarkable not only that he was akeen observer but also that he organized his observations with an apparent systematic ease.

Check it out.

Also in Info*96*Goya as I upload this blogpost, and I come across this wonderful page link: Thumbnails of the edition Caprichos... it's a shame that we can't either enlarge teh thumbnails or download a larger file of them.

Every portrait, a self portrait.


One of favorites, this one.

What a nice it was then before the upheaval.

The first link in this post is to a strange website, there's plenty of them. But check it out anyway, a little sifting can be rewarding there.

Posted by Dennis at March 30, 2005 2:35 PM

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