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.

Copy and invention

There are countless artists who express how important and influential Goya is, or has been, in his career; the inspiration that comes from him; how much they owe and how are identified with his legacy. This inevitably happens with all those artists who come to Fuendetodos; a small village located 44 kilometres from Zaragoza, in which for family economy reasons came to be born Francisco de Goya, but a month later the whole family resided again in Zaragoza.

Thus, Goya is very influential. There is no doubt of it. If an actor says considered heir, others are not those to doubt even his intentions or the effects on anyone. Is there any chance where we can believe more in others than each one in particular of himself and his works?

Another different matter, however, is to analyse with greater or less depth the artistic work of everyone and verify that indeed there is -let’s say- a father-son relationship not only in intention, but also in the final result.


That Picasso considers heir to Velázquez is physically and mentally tested with his study of Las Meninas. It does not doubt that the Picasso’s black time is, among others, in that wave. Therefore, as stated by David Silvester, analytic Cubism developed Picasso in a searcher, not a discoverer. That the result to the large audience likes more or less is a separate topic; but influence there is and in addition is manifest and analytically evident, also from the creative point of view.

There are however a good number of artists showing heirs of Goya but of whom we cannot remember in their careers any creative interest moment. We can warn so works “inspired” by Goya and his work, but naturally cannot be honestly described but simple imitation of Goya’s style or way, or mere copies made with luck or misfortune. It depends on.

And it is curious that the tremendous power of Goya has not conquered after-effects that mostly non-verbal manifestations, but not a noteworthy art. Yes, there are exceptions to the rule. For example, I see Goya’s influence by origin theme, -The Disasters of War- on a Picasso painting his Guernica which also Goya’s ‘Black Paintings’ may be found inside…


To copy is good and interesting for learning… If it is done right. It is better a good copy than a bad original. And this in drawing, architecture, painting, sculpture and other arts. In fact, since the creation of the Academy, the copy is regarded as important in the formation of different artistic specialties, being useful complement in the academic program because it is not so easy to copy well. At the end and after a good copy, make mannerism of the orthodox and finish with the originality of those who are gifted and show it. We are all heirs to someone. The positive side of the issue is that “someone” be effective educator and certainly worthwhile as a useful reference. And, of course, his teaching “fall” on fertile ground.

And without wanting to be exhaustive even there is another interesting consideration, says Adrian Stokes: I would say -he says- that modern art, traditional art of our time is, let’s say it this way, the jargon of the art as a whole: its relationship with the old masters is analogous to what slang is having with ordinary language.

So is seen by the clear majority of artists who come to Goya and thus understand it before admitting the influence of the great master. Thing that to the citizen means strange, difficult to appreciate and away from their reality. But even in the case of many artists then that knowledge take them to produce anything worthy to be qualified as significant. There are always exceptions, of course.

Gonzalo de Diego

A visit not to be missed

In the large cities of art are precisely the major museums that characterize them, like the Marmotan, the Gustave Moreau and many others in Paris, or the Philips Collection in Washington, the Van Gogh in Amsterdam, the Vasamuseet in Stockholm, the Frick Collection in New York, the Mauritshuis in The Hague, the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City, the Sagrada Familia and Gaudí’s works in Barcelona or the emblematic Wallace Collection in London. That kind of museums and places where to spend between one and three hours to visit nothing tiring, to get to know their particularism art funds with calm and affability. Amazing museums that are rara avis for being small in dimension, but very large in nobility, as well as amazing and admirable for other reasons.


In Madrid, there is one of the most comprehensive, unique and select from Spain: Museum and Foundation Lázaro Galdiano. Mr. José Lázaro Galdiano was born in Beire (a humble small-town in the Middle Navarre, in the lands of Olite) in 1862 and died in Madrid in 1947. Financial, businessman and intellectual, art collector, bibliophile, publisher and owner together with his spouse of an immense fortune.

The Museum and the Foundation are all a hard to avoid admiring remembrance towards Mr. José Lázaro Galdiano, whose rich art collections can be seen in what was his private house. The Foundation was established one year after his death and in the Palace of Parque Florido (Flowery Park), named like that in honour of his spouse, Mrs. Paula Florido y Toledo (1856-1932) was settled after a deep reform, establishing which is possibly the best private collection of Spain. Display only a part of twelve thousand and five hundred pieces that compose it, in new museology, with refurbished last generation exhibition media and LED lighting.


This way is the Museum conceived nowadays as a true docent establishment in which be delighted in its vast repertoire. For the potential visitor is recommended to review in advance the Museum website:

European art (Italian, Flemish, German, Dutch, English and French schools), Spanish art (15th-19th centuries) and Cabinet of the Collector (weapons, enamels, ivories, bronze, silver, ceramics, textile, etc.)

Aguafuerte y Aguatinta

And as it could not be less in an Spanish collection so numerous and located in Madrid, Goya is very well represented, with eight paintings (Magdalena Penitent, The Flagellants, Unequal Marriage, The Burial Of Christ, The Coven, The Sorcery, The Era, etc.) and with nothing less than 976 stamped works on paper, among which there is to be marked all his graphic work and a more than remarkable representation of lithographed prints, as the known as ‘The Reading’ edited in the Lithographic Establishment of the Hydrographic Deposit of Madrid and four lithographs known as ‘The Bulls of Bordeaux’, as well as the most remarkable portrait of the printer Gaulon, and also the named ‘Maja on Dark Background’, which is part of the series “latest caprichos” made all of them by Goya on Gaulon’s lithographic site during his stay in Bordeaux.


A visit not to be missed, highly didactic and more than pleasant that the specialist and the attentive visitor should not forget in his artistic journey through the capital city of Spain.

Gonzalo de Diego

Mariano Fortuny Marsal, engraver.

Mariano Fortuny Marsal, engraver. (Reus 1838-Roma 1874)
by Silvia Pagliano.

Recently was presented in the exhibition room Ignacio Zuloaga in Fuendetodos an exceptional exhibition of the engravings by Mariano Fortuny, from the Municipal Institute of Museums of Reus (28 October 2016-8 January 2017).

I was invited by RTV Aragon for Angel Jimenez the work there exhibited, 29 engravings-currency from 1861 to 1870.

Seems a common place that all engraving work makes reference to don Francisco de Goya, in this case is justified the reference because it is the birth place of the Master, of the presence of the Museum which preserves his work and admiration that Fortuny professed to Goya.

15 X 20,9 CM

Fortuny was submitted by the provincial Council of Barcelona to the Hispanic-Moroccan War as cartoonist, to give testimony of that event, as he possessed exceptional qualities for it. This would be his first trip, in 1860, and would return sometimes. It was a kind of “photojournalist” without a camera, although then were evidence of this use in war fronts as in Crimea (1853-54). These drawings and sketches served as a motive in his paintings The Battle of Tetuán, 1863-1873, The Battle of Wad-Rass, and enjoyed great fame because of them.

These works do not constitute a “report” in the traditional sense. Collects images and moved them to the canvas, with pictorial mastery, of course, but there is no drama, there is no allegation of cruelty or barbarity in this war, there is not a critical eye, is the polar opposite of ‘Rightly or Wrongly’, 2/82 of the Disasters of War by Goya. Fortuny was an aesthete and also a melancholy man, and perhaps of this there is estrangement in his images.

20,5 X 26,4 CM

Within the engraving work of Fortuny it is not dominated by a “central theme”, such as Rembrandt or Piranesi, Ribera or Goya. In his plates touches several common themes in his time, as the traditional character (A Muleteer, a lousy, a beggar, etc.) already known in the work of Rembrandt and Callot. The engravings due to his stay in Morocco are master pieces of the engraving: Kabyle dead in 1867, Arabic sitting, Moroccan Horse, Arabic ensuring the corpse of his friend. Influenced by the hard landscape and the African light intensity he transmitted to his plates astonishingly. Shadows and scorching light zones. Dark bodies and shiny fabrics. There are etchings, sometimes combined with aquatint, of great delicacy.

AGUAFUERTE.  21,4 X 16,5 CM.

There are not testimonies about his knowledge of Goya’s engravings, but of the impression caused by the paintings of the Master when saw them in Madrid. But he knew the treatment of lights and shadows of the Aragonese.

Are known 35 engravings in total, generally of small and medium format of 10 x 6 cm up to 40 x 50 cm some.

His extraordinary fame as a painter put in second order his engraving work (and also his great watercolours) where Fortuny shows freedom and variety of styles in his way of carefully scratch, finely or nervous, fast, eventful, even frantic.

Genius and versatility of an artist often confused with his son Mariano Fortuny i Madrazo, known as decorator, designer, photographer, famous among the bourgeoisie of Venice. Our artist was reserved, shy, little lover of fame and social life of which wished to set aside is to enjoy of full creative freedom without pressures of his commercial success, that he never sought.

“IDILIO”, 1865
20 X 14,5 CM

His early death at age 35, leaves the question about his possible future artistic development. Some critics speculate a turn toward classicism, given his inclination towards the themes of Arcadia, as in Idyle. His stay in Rome for years influenced him deeply, admired classical Art and Renaissance, which had a deep knowledge. Other critics speak of his tendency towards Impressionism already evident in the painting technique of his recent paintings.

He died in 1874 and his funeral in Rome was apotheosis.

Silvia Pagliano.

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