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Goya Exhibition Berlin

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Goya - Prophet of Modern Times/ 13.07. - 03.10.2005
Alte Nationalgalerie Museumsinsel

Opening hours:
Tue, Wed 10 am - 6 pm
Thur 10 am - 10 pm
Sat, Sun 10 am - 8 pm

Hotline: Phone 0049 30 266 36 69

Exhibition (Text: Verein der Freunde der Nationalgalerie)

As a culmination of more than 10 years of preparation, the State Museums of Berlin and the Kunsthistorisches Musuem, Vienna, in cooperation with the Museo del Prado, Madrid, are proud to present the most comprehensive display of works by the Spanish artist Francisco de Goya ever shown in the German speaking world. Renowned as a painter, drawer, etcher and lithographer, Goya is esteemed as one of the greates Spanish artists of all times.

Goya (1746-1828) first achieved fame with his depictions of the colourful vernacular Spanish way of life, which served as models for the royal tapestry weavers. Between 1774 and 1790, he painted cheerful scenes of a carefree lifestyle such as in „El quitasol“. In 1789 he was appointed painter to the Spanish court where he created numerous portraits of the Spanish aristocracy like eg. „Duquesa de Alba". Yet his contact with expoonents of the Enlightment who chritizied the domination of the Spanish society caused him to question the favoured painting tradition with its Rococo influences. During the French Revolution he was caught between 2 fronts in his profession as court painter, as many of his friends were persecuted by the King's soldiers. This experience, coupled with a grave illness which left him deaf brought about Goya's increasing preoccupation with the darker sides of human existence. The stupidity of the world, the horrors of war and social injustice became central themes in his work from that point on, which he articulated in a moving, expressive visual language, as demonstrated by "Corral de Locos". His final creative period brought forth demonic, nightmarish visions and yet, at the same time straightforward depictions of ordinary life.

The exhibition Goya - Prophet of Modernism presents over 80 key paintings from international collections alongside an extensive selection of drawings. 11 of the paintings have been lent by the Museo del Prado, including the famous "Autorretratto" (1815), "El quitasol", "El pelele" and "Vuelo de brujas". Centring on Goya’s role as the foremost Spanish precursor of European Modernism, the exhibition endeavours to reveal the extent to which many of the pivotal themes of art in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries were anticipated in his key works. At the same time, Goya’s oeuvre shows itself to be an experimental space for the modern gaze and artistic autonomy.

Inspired by the Goya exhibition, the ground and second floors of the Alte Nationalgalerie will be also be rearranged. Here, works by Spain’s greatest nineteenth-century painter will be contrasted with exponents of nineteenth-century German art, including Caspar David Friedrich, Carl Blechen and Karl Friedrich Schinkel, alongside two key representatives of French nineteenth-century art, Edouard Manet and Claude Monet, exhibited on the ground floor.

The exhibition will be on view from 13 July until 3 October 2005 on the Museumsinsel in Berlin before travelling on to Vienna.

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© Francisco de Goya El quitasol 1777 Museo Nacional del Prado