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Goya was born in the small Aragonese town of Fuendetodos on March 30 1746 His father was a painter and a gilder of altarpieces and his mother was descended from a family of minor Aragonese nobility Facts of Goyas childhood are scarce He attended school in Zaragoza at the Escuelas Pias At the age of 14 Goyas formal artistic education commenced when he was apprenticed to a local master Jos Luzan was a competent although little-known painter in whose studio Goya spent four years In 1763 the young artist went to Madrid where he hoped to win a prize at the Academy of San Fernando Although he did not win the award he did make the acquaintance of Francisco Bayeu an artist also from Aragn He was working at the court in the academic manner imported to Spain Bayeu the brother of Goyas wife was influential in forming Goyas early style Bayue was also responsible for his participation in an important trade the fresco decoration of the Church of the Virgin in El Pilar in Zaragoza In 1771 Goya went to Italy for approximately one year His activity there is relatively unclear He spent some months in Rome and also entered a composition at the Parma Academy competition in which he was successful Returning to Spain about 1773 Goya participated in several other fresco projects One of his projects included that for the Charterhouse of Aula Dei near Zaragoza in 1774 His greatest project took place in the Church of San Antonio de la Florida Madrid in 1798 It was at this time that Goya began to do prints after paintings by Velzquez who would remain along with Rembrandt his greatest source of inspiration By 1786 Goya was working in an official gift for King Charles III the most enlightened Spanish monarch of the 18th century Goya was appointed first court painter in 1799 His tapestry cartoons executed in the late 1780s and early 1790s
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