CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Sept. 1, 2000
UI Museum of Art will show prints by Francisco Goya
Sept. 16-Dec. 3
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Museum of
Art will show 50 prints from "Los caprichos" (The caprices, or follies),
a book by the Spanish artist Francisco Goya y Lucientes,
Sept. 16-Dec. 3 in the Works on Paper Gallery of the Museum.
The exhibition was organized by Kathleen A. Edwards,
the museums curator of prints, drawings and photographs. The print series,
a part of the museums permanent collection, was given to the museum
in 1968 by Owen and Leonne Elliott of Cedar Rapids. This is the first time
the prints will be shown to the public, as they were recently unbound from
a mixed-edition book.
Goya was one of the most innovative and important
artists of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. He is often placed alongside
El Greco and Diego Velazquez as one of the three masters of Spanish art. Serving
as court painter to kings Charles III and IV, he painted the royal family
in a surprisingly realistic and unidealized fashion, revealing them as a group
of very homely individuals.
In the winter of 1792 Goya contracted a serious disease
that left him totally deaf and became a turning point in his career. A mood
of pessimism marked his work after this date.
Between 1797 and 1799 he drew and etched "Los
caprichos." One of the most influential and compelling print series in
art history, "Los caprichos" represents a satirical mirror of the
times. Using a synthesis of realism and imagination, Goya depicted both the
victims and the purveyors of the corrupt government and immoral society that
he saw around him. His cast of sinister characters includes prostitutes as
witches, unprincipled professionals and lazy aristocrats as donkeys and monkeys,
and clergy as warlocks.
Later series, such as "Desastres de la guerra"
(Disasters of War, 1810), presented even more caustic commentaries on the
ills and follies of humanity. The horrors of warfare were of particular concern
to Goya, who witnessed bloody battles between French soldiers and Spanish
citizens during the Napoleonic occupation of Spain. Among his most famous
paintings are "Second of May, 1808" and "Third of May, 1808,"
paintings that depict the brutal massacres of unarmed Spanish street fighters
by French soldiers.
At 70, Goya retired to his villa, decorating it with
the so-called "Black Paintings" depicting macabre subjects, including
"Satan Devouring His Children" and "Witches Sabbath."
For information on the UI Museum of Art, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/uima
on the World Wide Web. Information is available on other UI arts events at
http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact
The UI Museum of Art, located on North Riverside Drive
in Iowa City, is open 10 a.m. to
5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday;
and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. Public metered parking is available
in UI parking lots across from the museum on Riverside Drive and just north
of the museum.