Dreams, Disasters, and Reality: Goya’s Prints from The Huntington’s Collections

Oct. 1, 2011Jan. 10, 2012
Huntington Gallery Works on Paper Room

Praised as one of the first “modern” artists, Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (1746–1828) addressed issues of contemporary political and social reality in his work. Already an accomplished painter, Goya turned to printmaking at the age of 46. His forceful etchings exposed the systems of power that ruled 18th-century Spain: a corrupt and despotic monarchy, the injustices of war and occupation by Napoleon’s France, the terrors of the Inquisition. Though he takes particular issue with the crown and the church, no one is safe from Goya’s critical eye as he satirizes human frailties such as superstition, vanity, and love in pointed and often disturbing images. As a result of the highly controversial nature of their subject matter, many of his prints were not published until well after his death. “Dreams, Disasters, and Reality” presents about 10 works from all of Goya’s major etching series, including Los Caprichos and Los Desastres de Guerra (The Disasters of War) drawn from The Huntington’s collections.