Goya: The Grotesque and Collecting

  • Nov 16, 2023Nov 17, 2023
  • Online


This international seminar examines Goya’s work, focusing on grotesque themes and collecting, shedding new light on his art and its reception.

Francisco de Goya (1746-1828) is recognized for the enormous richness and variety of his work, both in its themes as well as in the media he employed. He worked for the Court (as a portraitist and as a painter of decorative programs), for the Church (religious painting), as well as for private patrons. This is not to mention his work in the private sphere, which proved to be a favorable environment not only for paintings and engravings, but also for grotesque and fantastic themes, social criticism, humor, and human tragedy. This international seminar focuses on the study of the artist’s work through two topics: the grotesque and collecting. It will include the participation of noteworthy researchers in significant fields of study.

The first part part of the seminar will deal with the grotesque-fantastic, a theme present in Goya and informed by the context of the origins of romanticism. The use of satire and caricature will be examined as an end in and of themselves, in their capacity as experimentation of visual forms, as well as as a means by which political and religious questions could be raised without censure. The second portion of the seminar will be dedicated to collecting Goya’s works, in particular in France, Spain, and the United States. The study of his painting, drawing, and prints was first and primarily undertaken by French critics, which contributed to its collection and, as such, increased demand and led to the proliferation of imitations on the market.

The goal is to contribute, from this two-fold approach, to the critical study of Goya’s work through the presentation of recent and original research. In this way, the seminar will join debates about the artist, bringing the state of research up to date.

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This event will be streamed and recorded.