The world-exclusive exhibition Goya: Drawings from the Prado Museum features more than 160 works on paper by Francisco Goya (1746–1828), celebrating the artist’s extraordinary draughtsmanship and his unique insight into the complexities of human nature. Considered to be one of the first truly modern artists, Goya produced humorous and critical images of Spanish society that comment on gender relationships, childhood education, corruption and war.
Goya: Drawings from the Prado Museum is the first major presentation of Goya’s work at the NGV in more than 20 years and features 44 drawings on loan from the Prado Museum, officially known as Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid – the largest group of Goya’s drawings ever seen in Australia. Ranging from bold ink drawings to delicate red chalk sketches, the drawings on display have been selected by the Prado especially for this NGV presentation. Highlights include examples from the artist’s earliest albums of social satires, preparatory drawings for his iconic print series, through to pages from the late albums, which contain some of Goya’s most complex and surreal images. This rich and diverse selection of drawings showcases the breadth of Goya’s drawing practice, as well as offering a rare insight into the artist’s image-making process.
The works from the Prado collection are complemented by more than 120 etchings from Goya’s renowned print series, including the Caprichos 1797–98, which satirised vices and follies in Spanish society; the Disasters of War 1810–15, based on the atrocities of the war and famine that followed the Napoleonic invasion of Spain in 1808; the Tauromaquia c. 1815–16 on the subject of bullfighting; and the enigmatic Disparates c. 1815–19, made during the reign of Ferdinand VII, whose suppression of civil liberties affected the lives of many intellectuals and reformers, including Goya and his friends. The prints are drawn from the NGV Collection with fifteen works on loan from the Art Gallery of South Australia.
The exhibition is organised by the National Gallery of Victoria and Museo Nacional del Prado.