Francisco JosÚ de Goya y Lucientes was born on March 30, 1746 in Fuendetodos and later lived primarily in Madrid. At age 14 he was apprenticed to JosÚ Luzanan, an artist friend of his father. He married the sister of Francisco Bayeu, Josefa Bayeu, in 1773.
Goya was a chronicler of history and a portraitist of royalty. He painted the Spanish royal family. His themes range from merry festivals to scenes of war, fight and corpses. This evolution reflects the darkening of his temper.
Modern doctors suspect that the lead in his pigments poisoned him and caused his deafness since 1792. Near the end of his life, he became reclusive and produced obscure and frightening paintings of insanity, fantasy and madness. The style of these 'black paintings' precurse the expressionist movement. His influence is significant since his art was both deeply subversive and subjective, at a time when these attitudes were not predominant. His emphasis on the foreground and faded background portends the work of Manet.
Two of Goya's best known paintings are The Nude Maja and The Clothed Maja. They depict the same woman in the same pose, naked and clothed. He painted the Clothed Maja after outrage in Spanish society over the previous Naked Maja. As he refused to paint clothes on her, instead he created a new painting.
Goya retired after the French troops of Napoleon Bonaparte seized power in Spain. Some of his paintings depict scenes of the horrors of the Peninsula War.
He died on April 16, 1828 in self-imposed exile in Bordeaux.