Goya's protean talent sends connoisseurs barking in various directions. He was a master whose image of Saturn bloodily devouring his son is as unforgettable as his peerless rendering of the gentle light caught in the white satin gown of a countess. Most critics agree that Goya changed Western art forever, although the nature of his influence has been widely interpreted. Degas, for one, lamented that because of Goya he was condemned to painting a housewife in her bathtub.
This enigmatic artist is a brilliant choice of subject for Evan S. Connell, whose literary histories and penetrating novels have placed him amongst our greatest writers. With his famous wit, erudition and prodigious research, this biography brings to life an artist whose imagination is unsurpassed, and his brutal times--Spain in the clutches of the Inquisition. In a colloquial, wry style, Connell introduces a wealth of detail and a comic cast of weird and eccentric characters--dukes, duchesses, royalty, politicians and artists; as lewd and incorrigible a group as history has ever produced. As he charts the arc of Goya's career, he keeps pace with the tumultuous times as well as shrewdly sifting through two centuries of commentary, from Claudel's shock and dismay that he sought to avoid the eyes and the image of God, to Baudelaire's deadly accurate comment that "he painted the black magic of our civilization."
Connell has conjured Goya, his art, and his times with fierce originality and imagination. This is an unforgettable biography from an American master....Continua