GOYA VISIONS OF FLESH AND BLOOD (Seventh Art).Exhibition on Screen from The National Gallery, London.
For those of us brought up on La Maja (clothed and naked) and the morbid horrors of The Disasters of War and Los Caprichos, this exhibition is a reminder (if we need reminding) that Francisco Goya (1746-1829), Spanish court painter, was one of the greatest portrait painters.
Ambitious, gregarious, respectfully royalist, his muse (though not his lover) was The Duchess of Alba. The portraits are uncompromisingly character-driven: spontaneous, truthful, realistic, naturalistic, and psychologically accurate. He never flatters.
The interaction between painter and sitter is palpable. “I can’t,” he said, “compromise my integrity.” There is an amazing portrait of him in old age with his doctor when he seems to be at death’s door.
My guess is that if you watch this DVD you will want to check what else Seventh Art has to offer. The arts are for everybody, not just for some elite. Seventh Art helps to make the arts accessible to more people.