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Francisco Jose de Goya y Lucientes was born on March 30 1746 in Fuendetodos a village in northern Spain The family later moved to Saragossa where Goyas father worked as a gilder At fourteen years old Goya was apprenticed to Jose Luzan a local painter Later he went to Italy to continue his study of art On returning to Saragossa in 1771 he painted frescoes for the local cathedral These works done in the decorative rococo tradition established Goyas artistic reputation In 1773 he married Josefa Bayeu sister of Saragossa artist Francisco Bayeu The couple had many children but only one--a son Xavier--survived to adulthood From 1775 to 1792 Goya painted cartoons designs for the royal tapestry factory in Madrid This was the most important period in his artistic development As a tapestry designer Goya did his first genre paintings or scenes from everyday life The experience helped him become a keen observer of human behavior He was also influenced by neoclassicism which was gaining favor over the rococo style Finally his study of the works of Velazquez in the royal collection resulted in a looser more spontaneous painting technique At the same time Goya achieved his first popular success He became established as a portrait painter to the Spanish aristocracy He was elected to the Royal Academy of San Fernando in 1780 named painter to the king in 1786 and made a court painter in 1789 A serious illness in 1792 left Goya permanently deaf Isolated from others by his deafness he became increasingly occupied with the fantasies and inventions of his imagination and with critical and satirical observations of mankind He evolved a bold free new style close to caricature In 1799 he published the Caprichos a series of etchings satirizing human folly and weakness His portraits became penetrating characterizations revealing their subjects as Goya saw them In his religious frescoes he employed a broad free style and an earthy realism unprecedented in
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