Culture, Listings, Visual Arts

Goya and his catalogue of work

An exhibition in London will bring together a selection of Goya’s drawings, which show the artist’s attempts to capture the essence of various dramatic scenes.Many of which depict the fatality of his subjects.


Without doubt, “The 3rd of May 1808” is one of the most famous paintings by the painter from Zaragoza. The lantern that illuminates the faces of the victims whose arms are raised before a group of compassionless French soldiers that take aim and turn their backs to the spectator, has been described as the patriotism of a population against an invader.

However Goya did not only depict the War of Independence, he also painted native customs and in his “Black Paintings”, the famous scenes of satanic rituals on the banks of the Rio Manzanares.

He was deaf, but had no visual impairment that could prevent him from painting what he saw.Now in London, the public can see the heritage of this great artist in an exhibition organised by the British Museum under the title “From the Renaissance to Goya: prints and drawings from Spain”. As well as Goya’s prints the selection includes works by other Spanish and European authors that worked in Spain from the 16th Century through to the mid-19th Century.

Many of the drawings and prints are being show for the first time. Among the featured artists are also names from the “Golden Age” such as Diego Velázquez and José de Ribera. But Goya’s works are the highlight of the exhibition.

From the prints that show the festivities of the bullfight to scenes of the Guerra Popular, which the Spanish mounted against the French occupation from 1808 to 1813.

The exhibition is arranged into different sections in order to contextualise the works from different periods and with different themes. As a result the drawings are grouped together according to the origins of the painters.

The exhibition has been organised in collaboration with the Office of Culture and Science of the Spanish Embassy, and will be open to the public until the 6th of January.

For more information visit the website.

(Translated by Oliver Harris)

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