The Fondation Beyeler presents one of the most significant exhibitions ever devoted to Francisco de Goya (1746–1828). Goya was one of the last great court artists and the first forerunner of modern art. He was both a painter of impressive portraits and an inventor of enigmatic, highly personal pictorial worlds. It is precisely from these irreducible contradictions that Goya’s art draws its magical fascination.
Spanning more than 60 years, Goya’s career covers a period ranging from Rococo to Romanticism. He depicted saints and criminals, witches and demons, pushing open the gate to realms in which the boundaries between reality and fantasy become blurred. In his art, Goya shows himself a keen observer of the drama unfolding between reason and irrationality, dreams and nightmares.
The exhibition brings together around 70 paintings and more than 100 masterful drawings and prints, inviting viewers on a journey into the beautiful and the unfathomable. For the first time, seldom seen paintings from Spanish private collections are shown alongside key works from the most prestigious European and American museums and private collections.
The exhibition is organised by the Fondation Beyeler in collaboration with the Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid.
The exhibition is accompanied by a new film by Philippe Parreno (*1964, lives and works in Paris). The renowned contemporary artist devotes a new work to Goya’s long-destroyed country house and its legendary murals, the Pinturas negras (Black paintings). In Parreno’s artistic exploration, these visionary masterpieces are filmed up-close and set to imaginary sounds. This fascinating installation illustrates Goya’s enduring influence on subsequent generations of artists from Picasso to Warhol to the present day.
Carlos III, cazador, (Charles III in Hunting Dress), 1786
King Charles III (1716–1788) was a benevolent monarch who tried to introduce the ideals and reforms of the ...
María Josefa de la Soledad Alonso Pimentel y Téllez-Girón, condesa-duquesa de Benavente, duquesa de Osuna, 1785
The enlightened Duchess of Osuna (1752–1834) came from one of the most important families of Spain’s ...
Autorretrato ante su caballete, (Self-Portrait before an Easel), 1790–95
Appointed court painter in 1789, the artist poses festively dressed in his light-filled studio with his ...
Retrato, »a su Amigo Asensi«, (Portrait Dedicated ‘To His Friend Asensi’), c. 1798
The portrait subject is believed to be the Valencia-trained painter Asensio Juliá (1760–1832), who assisted ...
Exclusive Goya Editions
Original “Los Caprichos” engravings and aquatints
The Art Shop currently features special Goya editions –printed originally by the Spanish artist himself. His “Los Caprichos” is a series of eighty engravings and aquatints, which challenge different themes such as mortality, religion, marriage or superstition. Although over 200 years old now, their irony and sarcasm holds truth up to this present day and emphasise how modern a master Goya was in his time.
Released on the occasion of our current exhibition and in collaboration with Cahiers d’Art, The Ever Goya print portfolio is an extraordinary collection of 21 works from contemporary artists who pay homage to Francisco de Goya in their own singular way. You will find works from Robert Longo, Thomas Schütte or Philippe Parreno, whose film “La quinta del sordo” sets focus on Goya’s “pinturas negras” (black paintings). Parreno’s work is on show whilst the exhibition.
Francisco de Goya’s “Desastres de la Guerra” (the disasters of the war) constitutes a series of 80 prints. They document the brutality and disastrous consequences of the Napoleonic invasion of Spain. For the current exhibition, some of the etchings are now available from the Art Shop. The prints were published for the first time in 1863, 35 years after the death of the artist.