GOYA by Charles G. Poore


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A profoundly scholarly and yet thoroughly readable life of the enigmatic artist, who lived closely to the stirring days in Spain when Napoleon's invasion thrust bloody wars upon the country. He traces Goya's career, from humble beginnings, through his education in art, to his career at court, and his death in exile. Poore has given many years to a close analysis of the sources, primary and secondary, on the Goya material. Sometimes, in an effort to retain an impartial viewpoint, he sacrifices drama to accuracy. Much of the detail of Goya's life is lost in legend and fantasy. Much has been written into his life from the record of his paintings. Poore has separated the facts from the legends -- and gives us both, which sometimes results in a blurred picture of the man, but makes this a definitive biography. He has closely aligned Goya's work with the steps of his career, and the events of his times and of his own life are made secondary to the significance of his paintings and etchings in the history of Spanish art. An important book, and one which should take a permanent place in libraries and art museums. Its popular sale could be tied up closely with a fictional biography of Goya, published several months ago by the Egmont Press -- and reviewed below.

Publisher: Scribner