The National Gallery
Trafalgar Square
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Goya: The Portraits
dal 6/10/2015 al 9/1/2016

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National Gallery Press Office

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Goya: The Portraits

The National Gallery, London

The exhibition presents 70 of the artist's most outstanding works from public and private collections around the world, including paintings, drawings, and miniatures. From his first commissions to more intimate later works.

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Striking and often unforgiving, Goya’s portraits demonstrate his daringly unconventional approach and remarkable skill at capturing the psychology of his sitters.

Already 37 when he secured his first important portrait commission from Spain’s Prime Minister, Count Floridablanca, Goya’s reputation grew quickly. Ambitious and proud of his status, he gained patrons from the entire breadth of Spanish society: from the royal family and aristocrats, to intellectuals, politicians and military figures, to his own friends and family.

Deeply affected by his deafness, the result of serious illness in his mid-40s, portraiture remained a means by which Goya could communicate. His approach was unhindered; he was unafraid to reveal what he saw.

Providing penetrating insight into the public and private aspects of his life, ‘Goya: The Portraits’ traces the artist’s development, from his first commissions to more intimate later works painted during his ‘self-imposed exile’ in France in the 1820s – a career that spanned revolution and restoration, war with France, and the cultural upheaval of the Spanish Enlightenment.

A boundary-breaker, and highly regarded by Delacroix, Degas, Manet and Picasso, Goya is one of Spain’s most celebrated painters, yet until now, his story as a portraitist has never been told in an exhibition.

‘Goya: The Portraits’ presents 70 of the artist’s most outstanding works from public and private collections around the world, including paintings, drawings, and miniatures never-before-seen in London.

Xavier Bray, Curator of 'Goya: The Portraits' said:
“These two royal portraits still play a major role in Madrid's royal palace. They hang in the apartments that lead to the throne room where foreign dignitaries are welcomed by the present King of Spain. I am therefore incredibly grateful to the Patrimonio Nacional for making this exceptional loan. Without them we would not have been able to mark Goya's appointment as First Court Painter to Charles IV in 1799, a position he had fought long and hard to achieve. They are also some of his best portraits, in a perfect state of preservation and painted in a technique that only Velázquez before him could match, and they show the King and Queen as real people, a couple who wished to be admired and loved by their subjects as equals.”

Image: Detail from Francisco de Goya, 'The Duchess of Alba', 1797 © Courtesy of The Hispanic Society of America, New York.

For further information please contact the National Gallery Press Office on 0207 747 2865 or

The National Gallery
Trafalgar Square London WC2N 5DN
Daily 10am – 6pm
Fridays 10am – 9pm
Adult £18
Senior £16
National Art Pass (Art Fund) holders £9
Student/Jobseeker/12–18 years £9

Goya: The Portraits
dal 6/10/2015 al 9/1/2016

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