From the critically acclaimed and bestselling author of Son of the Morning Star and Deus Lo Volt!, a biography that breaks the mold-recounting with stunning immediacy the dark genius behind the renowned Spanish painter. Enigmatic, compelling, darkly brilliant and casually masterful in turn, Francisco Goya changed art forever, although the nature of his influence has been widely interpreted. Degas, for one, lamented that because of Goya he was condemned to painting a housewife in her bathtub. During the vile days of the Spanish Inquisition, Goya painted royalty, street urchins and demons with the same brush, bringing his own distinctive touch to each. This unusual man and his ghastly times are the perfect subject for Evan S. Connell, one of our greatest and least conventional writers. This unorthodox biography shines with wit, erudition and prodigious research. To say Connell is intimate with his subject is an understatement: He seems to be inside Goya's famously impenetrable skin. In a colloquial, wry style, Connell introduces a wealth of detail and a comic cast of weird and eccentric characters-dukes, queens and artists-as lewd and incorrigible a group as history has ever produced. And he shrewdly sifts through two centuries of commentary on Goya's art, deftly weaving insults-like "seeking to avoid the eyes and the image of God."(Paul Claudel)-with raves-"a masterpiece of loathing"(Ernest Hemingway). Connell has conjured Goya, his art, and his times with ease and imagination. This is an unforgettable biography from an American master.
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Published December 18, 2003
Biographies & Memoirs, History, Arts & Photography, Literature & Fiction.