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Goya

Witness of His Time

20 April - 29 July 2012

Francisco de Goya (1746-1828), known as one of the most unique artists of European painting and a pioneer of modern painting, was introduced to the Turkish audience for the first time with four series’ of engravings along with a selection of oil paintings, at the Pera Museum in 2012.

Curated by Marisa Oropesa, the exhibition consisted of works from Spain and Italy’s leading museums and private collections. As one of the best narrators of darkness, the exhibition united Goya’s various oil paintings and engraving series -Caprichos, Disasters of War, Tauromaquia, Proverbs or Follies- that bear witness to a turbulent period in Spain and Europe. The works in the exhibition, besides his career as a court painter and portraitist, explored Goya’s extraordinary imagination, along with his reflections of the social circumstances of the era, from a critical perspective.  The exhibition sought to shed light upon Goya’s extraordinary imagination with his realistic and at times frightening style that makes him one of the best narrators of darkness separating him from his contemporaries, as his art transcends time, influencing 20th century modernism.

"Goya is always a great artist and often a terrifying artist… adding to the Spanish satirical spirit, fundamentally joyful and humorous, as it was in the time of Cervantes, something much more modern, a quality that is highly appreciated in modern times, as is love for the indefinable, a terrifying sense of nature, of human features that have acquired animal characteristics…" Charles Baudelaire, Curiosités Esthetiques (1868)

The exhibition highlighted the artistic path followed by Francisco de Goya, one of the greatest masters in art history. Goya, heir to the superior painting tradition before him, is also known as the forerunner of modern narratives. The painter, who witnessed a turbulent period in Spain and all of Europe, reflects social events from a critical point of view. The exhibition sought to shed light upon Goya’s extraordinary imagination with his realistic and at times frightening style that makes him one of the best narrators of darkness, separating him from his contemporaries, as his art transcends time, influencing 20th century modernism.

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Goya Witness of His Time
Engravings and Paintings

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