Goya’s paintings and engravings in Cascais reveal the master’s view of the society of his time.


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The exhibition of paintings and engravings by Francisco de Goya (1746-1828), which opens today at the Centro Cultural de Cascais, presents the artist’s view of the society of his time, bringing together works never before seen in Portugal.

The exhibition “Goya: Testimony of his Time” brings together ten paintings on display for the first time in Portugal, along with four series of engravings by the Spanish master.

The exhibition, which opens to the public on Sunday and runs until July 9, is an initiative of the Fundação D. Luís I and the Municipal Council of Cascais, as part of the Bairro dos Museu program.

Considered one of the most important Spanish artists of the 18th century and a forerunner of modern art due to the innovative character of his work, Goya inspired artistic currents that would emerge in the following centuries, from Romanticism to Surrealism.

The curators, Maria Toral and Maria Oropesa, have made a selection that proposes a tour through the main themes of Francisco de Goya’s graphic and pictorial work, highlighting the way in which he “opened the doors to a new concept of art”.

“The artist as a witness of his time, imbued with a deep sense of freedom, able to express his political liberalism, his opinions on issues such as religion and institutions, his fascination with women and the emotional power of the family, love and desire, his distaste for intellectual oppression and his aversion to war, reflecting the period of political upheaval and social transformation in which he lived,” reads a note from the curators.

Six of the paintings presented for the first time in Portugal are from the “Children’s Games” series, produced between 1775 and 1786, in which Goya depicts scenes from everyday life. The works belong to the collection of the Fundación de Santamarca y de San Ramón y San Antonio in Madrid, Spain.

In the details of these works, one can see how Goya observed the society of his time, drawing attention to the social inequalities of the time: for example, in “Children on the Swing”, the painter depicts some children dressed in immaculate school uniforms, which contrast with the tattered clothes of other children of the same age.

Há ainda duas obras que pertencem ao Museu Goya – Coleção Ibercaja, uma intitulada “Baile de Máscaras” (c. 1808-1820) e o estudo para “O Dois de Maio de 1808 ou A Carga dos Mamelucos” (1814), uma das suas obras-primas, hoje parte da Coleção do Museu do Prado, em Madrid.

Os outros dois quadros apresentados pela primeira vez no país são pinturas religiosas que Goya produziu na primeira fase da sua carreira, quando viveu e trabalhou em Saragoça, sendo relevantes porque testemunham tanto os seus primeiros passos como a sua consolidação enquanto artista, explica o texto das curadoras.

In addition to these works, which have never been exhibited in Portugal, the series of engravings “The Caprices”, “The Bullfight”, “The Disasters of War” and “The Nonsense or Proverbs” will be presented on two floors of the Centro Cultural de Cascais.

Goya's paintings and engravings in Cascais reveal the master's view of the society of his time.

Official painter of the Spanish Royal Family for many years during the reign of Charles IV, Goya was also a chronicler of the social issues and wars of his time, as evidenced by this series of prints produced from the 1790s onwards.

The series begins with “The Caprices” of 1799, in which the artist satirizes society’s excesses in religion, morality, superstition, and witchcraft, including “The Dream of Reason Produces Monsters.

The second series corresponds to “The Disasters of War”, which depict the atrocities and consequences of the war he witnessed, and in themselves constitute a critical social and political reflection.

In the same period, at the age of 70, Goya produced the third series, entitled “La Tauromaquia”, about the history and tradition of bullfighting in Spain.

The exhibition concludes with the presentation of thirteen prints from “The Nonsense or Proverbs” (1815 – 1824), the last series Goya produced and considered the most enigmatic of his compositions.

The exhibition at the Cascais Cultural Center is open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10:00 to 18:00.

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