The Fondation Beyeler is presenting one of the most important exhibitions ever devoted to Francisco de Goya (1746–1828) outside of Spain. Goya was one of the last major court artists and the first pioneer of modern art. He was both a painter of great portraits and an inventor of mysterious, personal pictorial worlds. It is precisely in these seemingly unresolvable contradictions that we discover the magical fascination of Goya’s art.
In his more than sixty-year artistic career, which spanned from the Rococo to the Romantic period, Goya revealed occurrences that went beyond the social conventions of his time. He depicted saints and criminals, witches and demons, pushing open the gate to realms that do not differentiate between reality and fantasy. In his art, Goya is a keen observer of the drama of reason and irrationality, of dreams and nightmares.
The exhibition succeeds in bringing together over seventy paintings and a selection of masterful drawings and prints that invite viewers on a journey into the beautiful and the incomprehensible.
The show has been developed in collaboration with the Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid. Rarely exhibited paintings from Spanish private collections will be on view at the Fondation Beyeler, combined for the first time with key works from the most renowned European and American museums and private collections.
To kick off the 2020 summer exhibition, the Fondation Beyeler is featuring Goya’s impressive and enigmatic painting Witches’ Sabbath (1797–98), from the Museo Lázaro Galdiano in Madrid, at this year’s stand at Art Basel.