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Francisco de Goya
Spanish painter, printmaker, and draftsman
Goya received official honors and worldly success, yet he recorded penetrating, and not always flattering, portraits of his patrons. His work is characterized by private expressions of introspection, moral objectivity, and caustic commentary on his times. By the 1780s, Goya was Spain's leading painter, specializing in religious pictures and portraits. He said that he was influenced by three masters: the elegant, fluid Diego Velázquez, his predecessor as court painter to the Spanish royal family; the truthful, penetrating Rembrandt van Rijn; and, above all, nature. In 1792, illness left Goya deaf and mentally broken. He turned inward and began creating dark, disturbing, private works.