Francisco de Goya

IT IS AN ART HISTORY 101 TRUISM that Francisco de Goya is the Father of Modern Painting, and a truth of art history that later painters, in fact associated with modernism as a style, acknowledge him as an influence. But one may stand in a paternal relationship to modernists without being modern oneself—after all, Velázquez inspired Manet without anyone caring to push the origins of modernism back to the time of Philip IV. And Goya’s philosophy of painting stands far closer to Velázquez and Rembrandt than to Manet. Dark and light, for example, carry a moral, if not metaphysical, meaning in his work, as they do in Caravaggio and Zurbarán. He found modes of representation in Baroque painting that suited what became his entrenched mood after sustaining a profound change in spirit, the effect of a mysterious and lingering illness that struck him in 1792 when he was in his late forties and

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