Blog sobre Francisco de Goya. Espacio de amistad que aglutine a todos aquellos amigos de Goya o de lo que representa Goya, a la manera de un club on line.

Goya draftsman

By César Pérez Gracia

Botín Center of Santander, built by Renzo Piano, exhibits eight dozen of drawings by Goya. Genius is considered to be excellence contrasted in several fields. Goya is a fairly obvious case because he came to dominate several aspects of his craft: painter, engraver, draftsman. There is no one able to cover it in all its facets. Hence his greatness, which grows with the passage of time. Goya traced, blotted, painted, a thousand drawings. Let’s say he produced a drawing every two weeks for forty years. Obviously not all of their blots are impressive. But, has the shady grace to, if it can say so, always stick with some disconcerting drawing. They are not theirs, the “academies”, say the Bayeu drawing or Mengs. Ceán was saying with gracious in his Dictionary, which became literally sick, when he saw Mengs rip, smash a picture, throw it in the fire, because the bohemian was not satisfied. There have been astonishing, glorious artists such as Raphael or Rembrandt. Velázquez has barely left two or three sketches by his hand. Goya felt heir to Rembrandt in the engraving, but as a draftsman, I would say that he followed the wake of Guercino, a master of the baroque “aguada” (watered). Let’s say a great skilful watercolour artist with the secret tones of Chinese ink.

In Santander, in the Botín de Piano, we can see a clear example of the Goya Guercino, “Socorro”, 1820, which should be called “Piedad”, where we see a lady and her waitress, suck an old woman crouching on the floor.


Al Mercado
Album F (17), 1812-1820



Album F (23), 1812-1820


The atmosphere of light and abrupt twilight gives off the scent of an adage by Schubert. The box of the previous print, “To the market” could be a hybrid of Rembrandt and Guercino. Well, I see two good examples of Goya’s top as a cartoonist, but not with a greasy pencil, but with a brush on the water.

Sooner or later, swallows the Goya of nonsense drawing, like “Thing of Magic,” where we see an ecclesiastic of course, a canon in his pompous robes, consulting a crystal ball, while flying through the air. The Goya of the Disparates is unique, unmistakable. His visual humour is dazzling.

However, sometimes it seems to go wrong, as in the “Saturn”, where a stamp of terror is almost funny. An old cannibal, a Caliban of Coso, cannot devour human bodies with Voltaire’s smile, like someone eating a Haagen Dazs ice cream.

Maniatado en un camino
Album H (14), 1824-1828

The drawing “Maniatado”, 1824, reflects his days in Bordeaux, and we see an old man in a pose to the San Jerónimo, a French hermit, hmm, but with the feet embedded in a kind of sack of strength, which I imagine were used in hospitals to reduce the insane. The scenery is succinct, the branches of an oak and a “stump”, a bare branch with a phallic print. What evils does this poor old man grieve? Are the evils of the fatherland, of the absolutist Madrid left behind, or are the evils of age, the winter of Vejecía, of which Gracián spoke? There is a precious letter of that time in which he cannot be more open about the miseries of the octogenarian: “Thank me these bad lyrics, because neither sight nor pulse, nor pen nor ink, I lack everything and only will I have left,” 20 December 1825. And in another moment of that glorious missive, he jumps with a shuffle of fine zumba, when he is invited to copy himself, recycling the Caprichos: “I have better occurrences in the day.” That is to say, with one foot in the tomb, the Colossus of Saragossa, despite being half blind, without pulse and without money, drudged in the port city of Bordeaux, cruel port of bells in that time, as it was Lisbon, sidestep the artist who knows better than anyone, the tricks of his trade. At good time, they ask to him to make whimsical courtiers again, “I have better occurrences today”. You cannot say more with less words, a Seneca-Martial of the Coso.

From the very earliest time, 1799, Godoy’s time, is the soot-soaked watered, titled “El encuentro en el paseo”, where we see a brave gallant, planted before a pleasant on her back. flirting. The guy poses as a farmhand dressed as a fitter, open legs, hands behind his back, and mop of hair of Jacobin snob. It looks like a portrait of Bonaparte, when he was still consul, but the hair of the imperial meadow was already visible. Machado portrayed Azorín as a reactionary by disgust of the Jacobin mop of hair.

Azorín was a good reader of Montaigne, a French Frenchman as a few. Beside him, Bonaparte is a fool with imperial fumes. In any case, how far away was Goya, suspecting that the Corso would destroy his hometown, because we leave behind nauseous villagers, in his picture of the cathedral of Seville, he signed, as a citizen of Cesaraugusta. Lighter, water.

To end the tour, the spectator may well stop at the “Eat a lot” plate, drawn in Bordeaux, almost with his foot in the tomb.

Comen mucho
Album G (55 (¿)), 1824-1828

We go back to the infinite humour of Goya. It catches and amazes us with the figure of an old man that relieves his belly. The admirable thing is to capture in such an action, perhaps the dullest possible, an aesthetic side. No one has ever drawn a more apolitical ass and is as if compensated by the symmetry of the face, which could well be a self-portrait, which adds a plus of Martian joke. I would name that print as “Ass face”, to pay the genius for his own coin. That said, Goya’s exhibition of drawings in Santander is worth the trip.


Zuloaga and Fuendetodos, 1895 – 1945 (Part 2)

After visiting Zaragoza and getting acquainted with the Goyesan reality of the city, in 1903 Zuloaga’s visits to the town and their investigations began on the ‘Casa de Goya’ accompanied by José Valenzuela de la Rosa and other friends from Zaragoza. The truth is that no one in the village knows how to give them concrete reason for the happiness and ignored natal house, which they will definitely identify in 1913.

Fuendetodos’s aspect in 1928

At the same time, Zuloaga advances money for the placement of the commemorative tombstone, designed and given away by Dionisio Lasuén.

In 1915 he finally acquired the house and built a school next to it, which opened in October 1917, as did the house-museum.

In 1918 publishes and pays a children’s book on Goya with a text that orders José Valenzuela de la Rosa.

He is already known as “the one who knows the most about Goya”.

They install a monument to Goya on a village high, next to the parish church. It is a bust made by Julio Antonio. ‘Ignite this monument Ignacio Zuloaga and his friends. October 19, 1920’. Among Zuloaga’s friends there are people interested, delighting in Arts, as Zapater told his friend Goya, antiquaries and collectors from Aragón.

The Union of Initiative and Propaganda of Aragón was founded on February 16, 1925, that at its meeting on March 15 of the same year and under the presidency of Don Eloy Chóliz, it agreed to contribute, with all the effort possible, to the celebration of the First Centenary of the death of D. Francisco de Goya y Lucientes.

The efforts of Zuloaga and his friends began to have the desired effects and at the first meeting of the Management Committee of this Centenary which was part of the SIPA, among other important agreements included the following:

“To carry out in Fuendetodos the following works: Building a School for Girls; Town Hall and Hostel; Expropriate some land and old houses in order to give all possible visibility to the house where the immortal deaf was born, and in the plot that results, to project a square in the center of which will try to place the statue of Goya that was removed from the Museum of El Prado, original by Llaneces, supposing that the transfer to Fuendetodos is obtained; To divert Goya Street, so that it has a direct entrance on the road and proceed to its paving.” Except for the sculpture of Llaneces, the square now in existence resembles much the one then projected.

On March 8, 1926, the Goya Centennial Board met in the Rectorate of Zaragoza, it was agreed to appoint a Board of the ‘CASA DE GOYA’, which would have as its purpose to deal with everything related to Fuendetodos and to ensure the prestige and improvement of what with Goya is related in that locality. Mr. Ignacio Zuloaga was the Vice President of the same and Secretary the representative of the SIPA; Vocals, Mayor, Priest and Master of Fuendetodos. Little, in substance, changed the town and its relationship with Goya, except for the new Girls’ School, inaugurated on September 14, 1930.

As reported by the provincial architect Don Antonio Chóliz in his speech in “La Cadiera”, on October 23, 1981, “about the Town Hall and the Hostel was never known, as the rest of the proposals. Because one thing is the enthusiasm and generous impulse of the SIPA, the Artists of Zaragoza, the University, the Association of Architects and the Press Association…” of rurality, of love for the people, moral support to Goya and Fuendetodos that owes Zaragoza and Aragón, and another very different reality. And in greater abundance “was an unforgivable injustice in the way that Fuendetodos was treated in the liquidation of that fateful Centennial Board, which, instead of rewarding its yearnings for redemption, cruelly punished it for not yielding to baseness that disgusted it”. But let us draw a veil of forced oblivion and let us see with optimism how little or much it has been doing until today.

“When the house of Goya was expelled during the Spanish Civil War, once the peace was restored, the SIPA easily obtained from the neighbours of Fuendetodos that they graciously ceded furniture and furniture to replace the disappeared from the first conditioning made by Ignacio Zuloaga”.

The story since then is much better known and now without the contribution of its transformer, its best activist, that great fighter that was Don Ignacio Zuloaga, to whom Fuendetodos and Aragón owe him all the respect, recognition, admiration and love he deserves. Goya and Zuloaga made themselves and they alone, or almost, forged their respective personalities that many Aragonese knew how to recognize and admire. Also in life, they suffered the emptiness of the authorities and of those, being able to do and to be positive, did not want. He left open the way that we all should continue to trace, for the sake of Goya and ourselves. 189 years have passed since the death of Goya and we continue to have the good fortune that we hope that others will come someday and Fuendetodos will reach the dream of Ignacio Zuloaga and those who with him and his spirit have collaborated, then and now.

Gonzalo de Diego

Zuloaga and Fuendetodos, 1895 – 1945 (Part 1)

Ignacio Zuloaga Zabaleta (Eibar, 1870. Madrid, 1945), painter of international renown, was a fundamental, if not decisive, character in the survival of the memory of Francisco de Goya. As in France and more concretely in Bordeaux, as in Zaragoza, Fuendetodos and Zumaya in Spain.

We know about his life in France (1), that he lives there for the first time as a child, when his family flees from the Carlist troops in 1872-1875 and settles in Saint-Jean-de-Luz.

In 1883 he moved to Paris to continue his studies in a school of the Jesuits. In 1889 he returned from Rome and settled in Montmartre, meeting Toulouse Lautrec and, above all, Maxime Dethomas, painter and future artistic director of the Paris Opera, known today as Opera Garnier. This encounter will change the course of his life: in 1895, the year in which E. Munch paints El Grito (The Scream), he portrays the sister of his friend, Valentine Dethomas, whom he married on May 18, 1899. The young couple passes the Summer in St-Médard in Jalles, in the environs of Bordeaux, in the property of the Dethomas, precisely when the exhumation of Goya just took place on June 5. There are only a few months left for Freud to publish his ‘Interpretation of Dreams’.



In the following years Zuloaga visits more and more the city and is integrated in the Bordeaux of Goya, where his older son will be born. Little by little the mentality of Goya is impregnated in him and feels a deep admiration. He searches for his works, acquires them and talks about them without ceasing. In 1901 he claims to have five Grecos. “And I also have a Goya, his best time. And a copper plate of his etchings. It is certainly the artist who speaks in these terms, but the man of heart will do for the memory of Goya what no one had ever done or would do after him.”


But let’s go back a while to remember that the first initiative to return the remains of Goya to Spain came from the Royal Economic Society Aragonese of Friends of the Country of Zaragoza (RSEAAP), which in agreement of November 6, 1863, at the proposal of Don Francisco Zapater y Gómez, among other signatories, required “that the ashes of the Aragonese painter Don Francisco de Goya y Lucientes be transferred to Zaragoza and be deposited in the temple of Nuestra Señora del Pilar, in a simple and dignified mausoleum that to this end would be erected”. It was also requested and approved that RSEAAP should promote and provide the means for both purposes to be carried out. The Royal Society also addressed the descendants of Goya, led by his grandson Mariano and got his approval.

In case of having the double management and agreement been successful, the mortal remains of Goya would rest today in El Pilar or, at least, in his city. But the effort failed because of lack of means, “despite asking for the help of those who denied it: The Royal Academies of San Fernando and History in Madrid, the one of the Nobles and Fine Arts of San Luis in Zaragoza, City Council of Zaragoza, the Provincial Council of Zaragoza and the Metropolitan Cabildo of the same city. Among all these institutions, only the City Council of Zaragoza promised to contribute its funds to the transfer of remains and to the mausoleum. The others were content to offer their cooperation indefinitely” (2). Not less than 35 years had passed since Goya’s death, and yet the notorious disinterest of the cultured part of Spanish society in general and Zaragoza in particular was evident by a genius of the quality and importance of Goya. Aragón had also lost all possibility of recovering for his land the body of the son possibly more illustrious of its history. And to that same later story I refer.

A second attempt was still to be made in 1869, on behalf of the Spanish Government on the eve of the September revolution and also before the abdication of Elizabeth II. It was intended and agreed that Goya was buried in Madrid on June 11. On this occasion the attempt culminated in another new failure, because at the last moment the Minister of Public Works of Spain ordered “to suspend all the proceedings… for not having yet fulfilled the 50 years of his death, precise formula for similar situations” …(sic). In this way, the story continued to be written… and Aragón plunged into the most absolute silence. Nothing to say, nothing to do, nothing new to prove.

Funeral monument


And comes the year 1899, have passed another 36 years since the previous plan and 71 since the death and burial of Goya in Bordeaux. There are no longer precise formulas for such cases, nor blockhead’s baton Ministers willing to stop it. After another 20 years of negotiations, going back and forth, paperwork, movements in the Chartreuse cemetery itself and endless reports, it will be from October 1888 when the Spanish Ambassador receives an order to request the French Government to transport to Madrid the remains of Goya. Along the way we see the disappearance of his head and even that had been shrouded with it, and of which subject there is very interesting approximative information, but at last! nothing will prevent the definitive transfer to Spain: to Madrid, of course. About Zaragoza is not spoken.

And it will be thanks to Ignacio Zuloaga, by the way, that we bear witness to the interest of Zaragoza and its private and non-official and academic institutions, for Goya, for his native town, Fuendetodos, and for honouring, publicizing and perpetuating the figure of Francisco de Goya. We return to the distinguished figure of Zuloaga since it is to him and to his permanent zeal and struggle that we must thank all the Aragonese that Goya today has a native house in Fuendetodos. Yes, a native house, and that said town began in 1903 to leave the most absolute anonymity and general ignorance.

After visiting Zaragoza and getting acquainted with the Goyesan reality of the city, in 1903 Zuloaga’s visits to the town and their investigations began on the ‘Casa de Goya’ accompanied by José Valenzuela de la Rosa and other friends from Zaragoza. The truth is that no one in the village knows how to give them concrete reason for the happiness and ignored natal house, which they will definitely identify in 1913.

Gonzalo de Diego

To be continued…


(1) “Zuloaga et la France 1870-1945”. Mayi Milhou. Tesis Universitaria.
(2) Fauque, J. y Villanueva Etxeverria, R. “GOYA en Burdeos. 1824-1828”. Zaragoza. Ediciones OROEL, 1982.

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