Yo Lo Ví: Dream and Reality in the Prints of Francisco de Goya

National Museum Of Western Art, Tokyo

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Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (1746–1828) created prints over the course of almost his entire painting career, producing four major series of copperplate prints: “Los Caprichos” (published in 1799), “The Disasters of War” (produced circa 1810–1820), “La Tauromaquia” (published in 1816), and “Los Disparates” (produced 1820-1823).
Compared to his oil paintings, Goya’s prints seem to sum up a phrase found on one of the sheets in “The Disasters of War”— “yo lo ví,” or, “what I have seen.” His prints are products of what he as one individual had seen, and thus are freer and more personal in expression.
“The Disasters of War” and “Los Disparates” were not published during Goya’s lifetime, and sales of “Los Caprichos” were cut short. Against this background, these works conceal an extremely private, and indeed modern sensibility, one that deviates from the various conventions of art expression of their day. What Goya saw spanned the full spectrum, from shocking social injustice and acts of war witnessed with an enlightened eye, to dream-like surreal, romantic visions conjured up from his rich imagination. Goya’s print oeuvre constructs a unique realm that mixes and mingles these diverse elements.
The NMWA collections house 215 prints by Goya, including the entire runs of the above-named four major print series. This exhibition presents a selection of around 40 Goya prints, investigating the two realms of dreams and reality he witnessed while focusing on works that were not displayed during the 2011–2012 exhibition, “Goya: Lights and Shadows— Masterpieces of the Museo del Prado”.

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from July 08, 2014 to September 15, 2014

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