Below is our preview, giving background information about the exhibition. Click here to read our Goya review.
Madness, illusions and desire – they’re all present in abundance at the Courtauld Gallery, London exhibition, Goya: Witches and Old Women Album.
Who was Goya?
After suffering a near-fatal illness at the age of 50, printmaker and painter Francisco Goya became deaf. The experience had a profound effect on his life and work. Soon afterwards, he began to create private albums of drawings in which he explored human nature at its most vulnerable.
Goya: prints and drawings
Intended only for the eyes of a select group of friends, Goya let his imagination run riot, giving rise to drawings that saw him at his most macabre, humorous and satirical. He produced eight albums in total, labeling them rather prosaically from A-H. After his death in 1828, the albums were broken up and redistributed; this Courtauld exhibition is the first time that they have been reunited.
Goya: Courtauld Gallery exhibition
With contributions from sixteen museums and several private collections, the Courtauld has remarkably managed to obtain all twenty-two surviving drawings from the Witches and Old Women Album. This London art exhibition will also feature related drawings from other albums such as the celebrated 1797 etching The sleep of reason produces monsters.
What is the album?
The Witches and Old Women Album is thought to have been made from 1819-23, after the turbulent Napoleonic wars and during a creatively fertile period in Goya’s career when he produced the famous Black Paintings. A key feature of the album is Goya’s lifelong fascination with superstition and witchcraft. You’ll also be immersed in whimsical dreams, altered psychological states and Goya’s struggle with old age. The Getty Museum’s drawing, Can’t go on any longer at the age of 98, depicting an ancient figure shuffling across an expanse of blank paper, is an example of Goya’s ability to convey the subtleties of human emotion.
As Dr Ernst Vegelin van Claerbergen, head of the Courtauld Gallery, explains, this is 'the most ambitious' exhibition yet. A great chance to see Goya at this most unfettered and intimate, this is one not to be missed.
|What||Goya: The Witches and Old Women Album, Courtauld Gallery|
Strand, London, WC2R 0RN | MAP
|Nearest tube||Temple (underground)|
26 Feb 15 – 25 May 15, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
|Price||£Prices not yet released|
|Website||Click here for more information|