Segments in this Video

Goya: Painter of Primal Emotions (02:23)


When he is in a coma, prominent art commentator Robert Hughes has visions of Goya’s paintings and sets out to explore the life and work of the radical artist. He explains the vast diversity of feelings and sensations in Goya’s art.

Goya: Reporter and Moralist (03:11)

Though Goya (1746-1828) lived 200 years ago, his themes and subjects are similar to what all humans experience. Goya is the royal court painter, satirist, and war recorder, with equal taste in refinement and brutality as well as the weird and unpredictable.

Goya: Painter of Light and Dark (02:15)

Two paintings of same subject sum up huge changes in Goya. "St. Isidro's Meadow" is an impressionistic depiction of happy, fashionable young people. Thirty years later, "The Pilgrimage of San Isidro" depicts dark figures like demons in an irrational world.

Goya: Enigmatic Painter (02:33)

Few artists have changed as drastically as Goya. The enigma of his life—that was raised in a poor, stony village in a family that was not poor—contributes to the harsh landscape that become part of his later work.

Goya's Early Paintings (04:15)

Some of Goya’s most spectacular works are generally unseen by the public. In the 1770s, Goya paints murals in a Carthusian monastery, where visitors are seldom allowed. Goya paints himself into several of the murals.

Goya's Success in Madrid (05:57)

Goya returns to Madrid in 1774 with the Bayeu brothers. Goya makes his name as a tapestry designer and learns how to please clients. Over 130 of Goya's works remain in Madrid's Prada Museum.

Goya: Court Painter (02:56)

Goya's big year for success comes in 1788 when Charles IV makes Goya his chief court painter. Some critics find Goya's portraits of the royal family cartoon-like, but it is more obvious that Goya's paintings deliberately intend to flatter the royal family.

Goya and His Women (06:16)

The Prada's exhibition "Goya and His Women" displays the enormous range of the artist's portrayal of females. His eye for detail earns him the reputation as “the greatest topographer of femaleness that Europe has ever known.” Goya's Duchess of Alba paintings arouses much speculation about her relationship with the artist.

Goya's Deafness (03:48)

At first Goya experiences great financial and social success in Madrid. In 1792, illness strikes Goya, leaving him permanently deaf. This frees him to become a "painter of the soul," and thereafter, he paints what he wants to paint and is not hesitant to make money where he can.

Goya's World of Madness and Witchcraft (05:24)

After his deafness struck, Goya's paintings of the 1790s depict intense violence and irrationality. These private, smaller paintings ("cabinet pictures") depict disasters and bad places such as prisons and madhouses. The most powerful image of Goya's inverted world is witchcraft.

Goya the Satirist (06:49)

Goya publishes a series of plates called “The Caprices,” his most satirical—and often hideous—etchings, showing humankind at its most foolish and miserable. He mocks monks, priests, quacks, doctors, pretentious aristocrats, and lovers. The enterprise, however, is a commercial flop.

Goya the Faithful (01:57)

Goya's last great church commission is the decoration of the dome and vaults of St. Antonio de la Florida. His paintings display a vast theater of human emotion—wonder, doubt, gaping curiosity, dumb piety, and Goya's faith in common people.

Goya: War Reporter (05:42)

Madrid rebel against Napoleon's mercenaries on May 2, 1808, and all insurgents are shot without trials. Ultimately, Spain wins against the greatest war machine in Europe. Goya creates "The Disasters of War," a monumental series of the darkest images of war.

Goya's "The Third of May" (03:36)

In 1814, Goya completes two of his most famous paintings: "The Second of May," and "The Third of May." Robert Hughes points out the grand and tragic construction of the painting, the anonymity of the killers, and the bright act of defiance on the face of the "Christ of the people."

Goya's Images of the Bullfight (05:23)

In Goya's day, the bullring is central to Spanish identity. Goya's paintings capture this period like photographs would today. His etchings chronicle the spectacles of the bullfight as well as the tabloid-like sensations of the bullring when the bull jumps the barrier and gores the crowd.

Goya's Dark Paintings (05:16)

When Goya is into his seventies, his glory days of the court are over. One son remains alive, and illness still preys upon Goya. As a painter, Goya reaches deep into himself and brings out something grand and frightening and unexpected.

Goya: Authentic Genius (02:44)

As an old man, Goya is mad at the world, and also mad within himself, or "crazy like a genius," as Leon Golub notes. This combination of fury and control reveals the genius of Goya. His themes are universal such as the madness of religion and profiteering.

Goya in Exile and Goya's Legacy (03:42)

In 1824, no longer able to bear the Spain of Ferdinand VII, Goya requests to leave Spain for France. Given permission, Goya does not plan to return. He arrives in France old, clumsy, weak, and without a word of French. Nevertheless, he is deliciously happy. Goya dies on April 16, 1828.

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Goya: Crazy Like a Genius

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Written and presented by Robert Hughes, one of the world’s most prominent art commentators, this program explores the life and work of Francisco Goya—focusing on the painter’s subversive, often gruesome outlook. The video provides in-depth visual and intellectual analysis of dark Goya masterpieces, including The Dream of Reason, Witches in the Air, and The Third of May 1808, as well as examples of his portraiture and early work—such as The Duchess of Alba, both Majas, and a gratuitously violent tapestry painting. Links between Goya’s work, deafness, and political stance are explored in detail, while observations from painter Leon Golub highlight Goya’s continuing relevance. (Portions in Spanish with English subtitles, 76 minutes)

Length: 77 minutes

Item#: BVL35751

ISBN: 978-1-4213-4747-9

Copyright date: ©2002

Closed Captioned

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Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.