Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Goya's Dark Painting

Two days ago we were watching a program on BBC channel, in which the anchor travelled to Spain, Barcelona. Among the facts about this beautiful city, he was also telling about Spanish artist Francisco Goya and his Dark paintings. I used to see these paintings before but never knew the story behind them. It's a dark story of person's mental and physical suffering, as Goya became deaf due to some serious illness, and it lead to change in his art. This narrative disturbed me that much that I was trying to find more information about it since then.
Obviously that our creations reflect our inner self, our emotions, or their absence, our feelings. Goya's late paintings is a mixture of apocalyptic vision and despair. I would like to pay attention on one of them which is called Witches' Sabbath or The Great He-Goat which was created. The figures in this painting look like a solid piece of clay, they fear and their faces express horror. There is a girl sitting separately from others who seems to be calm, as she is observing the happening. It's said that she is likely to be initiated into coven.
(El Gran Cabrón/AquelarreWitches' Sabbath 
Certainly you don't need to be a visual arts specialist  to notice that the colors Goya chose for his painting are dark, light is dim, and the figure of Devil in goat's disguise/costume is more like a shadow than a real entity. What was the condition of a man who created such scary, disturbing picture? What did he see what other couldn't or were afraid of? The Peninsula war and other political causes of 19th century Europe serve as an explanation of Goya's dark images and scenes incarnated in his works.
But I feel it might be something like games which artist's mind played with him dragging out the darkest fantasies and making him to create on the walls of his house... and live among them, those fantasies. This Witches' Sabbath painting is just one of the examples of the artist's mental breakdown, which actually increased over ages, as he had painted another Witches' Sabbath before, but the colors in that picture were brighter and figures - more clear.
You can read more about Goya's art, the story of his isolated life and a search for some way out of the turmoil in his mind and chaos in the world. I found this painter's works actual for our modern time, when the world is distorted by wars, conflicts which sparkles even more violence, hatred, wish not to preserve but ruin.
I hope my post wasn't too gloomy, I just wanted to share some interesting subject with you, dear friends :) Hope you found some thoughts close to what you reflect on or, at least, worth reading once. I haven't started to discover my dear witches in other folk tales or any fiction, but I intend to start searching again :)