From light into darkness: the genius of Goya

The great Spanish artist Francisco Goya was born in Zaragoza in 1746, the son of a gilder whose livelihood was doomed by the new fashion for marble. The young Goya first studied in his home town before graduating to Madrid, rising through academy and court circles and navigating his way through the reigns of three Bourbon kings and the intervening rule of Joseph Bonaparte before retiring to Bordeaux in his late seventies. From early commissions for religious frescoes, altarpieces and tapestry cartoons for royal palaces, he went on to paint celebrations of everyday Spain en fête and to establish a portrait practice encompassing all the leading figures of the wildly