A CYCLE OF GOYA'S DRAWINGS by Jose Lopez-Rey

A CYCLE OF GOYA'S DRAWINGS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In general, the best known series of Goya's drawings are the Caprichos, the Disasters of War and Tauromaquia or the art of bull fighting. These three cycles make a formidable library of commentary in art, branding Goya as one of the great social analysts of the early 19th century. Now comes another group of drawings, which for the able critic and scholar, Dr. Lopez-Rey, form yet another distinct cycle, unnamed but depicting the struggle for liberalism and truth that marked Europe at the end of the Napoleonic era. There are over a hundred drawings, all carefully numbered and captioned by Goya and though they have never before been studied and interpreted as a unity, Dr. Lopez- Rey's full commentary makes a new and convincing argument that they form aspects of a single theme. Carefully, he describes the relationship between France and Spain after the Revolution, the Spanish court weak under Godoy's decadent thumb, the crippling interim rule of Napoleon's brother Joseph and the splintering of Spaniards into French sympathizers, liberals and monarchists that followed. Goya's role as court painter was distinctive enough to bring him exile. It was probably during the years from 1820 to 1824 that he worked on this cycle, relating the follies of man in his search for, or flight from, truth and truth's final triumph. Covering as it does history, the artist's philosophy, and the technique of the drawings themselves, this volume makes a substantial contribution to art history.

Pub Date: Nov. 20th, 1956
Publisher: Macmillan