Goya’s Fight With Cudgels

Here is the painting.

As part of Goya’s black period, he seems to have been exasperated with his own lot as well as what he’d observed of the human condition.   The same fluid brushstroke style is there, the same dark tones (though the sky still seems a transcendent, slightly mystic blue and white) but the theme is dark….

Is this a painted over scene…the confused images of bitter old age and loss of memory that can come with it?   

Is it a faithful recording of the ignorance, fear and brutality he saw in Spain during his lifetime?

Here’s a quote from this excellent Goya page:

“Fantasy abandoned by reason produces impossible monsters: united with her, she is the mother of the arts and the origin of their marvels.”

“La fantasia abandonada de la razon, produce monstruos imposibles: unida con ella, es madre de las artes y origen de sus marabillas.”

But what was reason for Goya? 

See also: A previous Goya’s Colossus post.

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