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Alongside Rembrandt and Dürer, Goya stands as one of greatest historical printmakers known today. His subjects range from Biblical depictions, to the bloody, but much loved sport of bull fighting. He is best known, however, for his satirical and social commentary in biting series such as The Disasters of War and Caprices. Ever a keen observer of his own time, Goya nonetheless succeeded in creating imagery of the human condition that speaks to generations of viewers even to this day.
Los Proverbios is beleived to be the last series that Goya created. The artist did not put titles directly into the images, as he had with his other series, so it was up to the Academy, which published the plates posthumously, to identify the plate as illustrations of specifi sayings, proverbs or fables. It should be noted that Goya very likely twisted the compositions, by giving them specific social, religious or political significance, which would make them even more difficult to recognize.
Los Caprichos are the earliest of Goya's large series of engravings and invite imaginative interpretations from viewers even today. Attemps have been made to discover the specific meanings of the compositions since their first publication in 1799. Even though a disclaimer released at this same time claimed no specific indivduals were alluded to, the generally accepted view has been that they were inf act closely connected with particular people and institutions of the day and were bold, satirical caricatures directed against the Church, the Inquisition, the Government, and the Royal Family.
This series of etchings illustrating the art of bullfighting was first published by Goya in 1816 and were a testament to Goya's love and understanding of this most Spanish spectacle. The compositions begin with depictions of the origins and history of bullfighting and move chronologically through up to Goya's contemporaries.
Los ProverbiosLos CaprichosLa Tauromaquia