Goya in Black and White

Now – January 6, 2019

NBC 5 and The Kimbell Art Museum invite you to experience Goya in Black and White on view now – January 6, 2019 in the Renzo Piano Pavilion. Francisco de Goya y Lucientes is, with El Greco, Velázquez and Picasso, among the best-known figures in the history of Spanish art. Celebrated as one of the greatest painters of all time, he is also revered as one of history’s greatest draftsmen and printmakers. Goya in Black and White showcases over 85 of his greatest works on paper from the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, renowned for their depth and richness in the graphic arts.

Goya began as a painter, justly admired in his early days for the ease with which he picked up the light-hearted and delicate style of the international Rococo. It was as a master portraitist that he achieved fame, though he never abandoned the painting of life around him, even as his imagination led him towards exploration of dark and tormented subject matter. In his later years, his free brushwork and inventive compositions were an inspiration to the Romantic artists of France, who passed on their admiration of Goya to a succeeding generation—to painters such as Manet and Degas.

In conjunction with his efforts as a painter, Goya was an assiduous draftsman and printmaker. His first efforts at etching include the copies after masterworks by Velázquez that he began to distribute in the late 1770s, including royal portraiture and grand subject paintings such as the Feast of Bacchus. Some 20 years later, working from drawings in black ink and red chalk, Goya etched and published his Caprichos, a group of 80 prints satirizing—gently or scathingly—the social mores of his time. Included in this group is one of the artist’s most famous creations, The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters. His Disasters of War, the Disparates and Tauromaquia were executed in the teens and were based, in turn, on his experiences of war and its aftermath, on the absurdities of outmoded Spanish customs or follies and on the history and art of bullfighting. Etched by 1816, only the scenes of the bullfight could be published in his lifetime. Because of their subversive subject matter, the other series were not issued until the 1860s. Goya’s final sequence of prints, known as The Bulls of Bordeaux, marked an audacious turn to lithography at the end of his life.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, owns more than a thousand works on paper by Goya, constituting one of the world’s most distinguished collections of his graphic oeuvre. Goya in Black and White will take full advantage of that richness, exploring the evolution of the artist’s graphic work in all media. The importance of black and white will be shown throughout the exhibition—not only literally, in black ink on white paper, but also figuratively, as in the oppositions of night and day, the balance between
menacing shadow and hopeful light, that pervade the artist’s imagination. In the Kimbell’s exhibition, a select group of drawings and Goya’s principal series will be represented in detail, some works in multiple impressions, to reveal the creative evolution of the artistic process of a genius.

For more information, visit

Goya in Black and White
Now – January 6, 2019
Kimbell Art Museum
3333 Camp Bowie Boulevard
Fort Worth, TX 76107
Admission is FREE

Kimbell Art Museum
The Kimbell Art Museum, owned and operated by the Kimbell Art Foundation, is internationally renowned for both its collections and its architecture. The Kimbell's collections range in period from antiquity to the 20th century and include European masterpieces by artists such as Fra Angelico, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Poussin, Velázquez, Monet, Picasso and Matisse; important collections of Egyptian and classical antiquities; and the art of Asia, Africa and the Ancient Americas.

The Museum's 1972 building, designed by the American architect Louis I. Kahn, is widely regarded as one of the outstanding architectural achievements of the modern era. A second building, designed by world-renowned Italian architect Renzo Piano, opened in 2013 and now provides space for special exhibitions, dedicated classrooms and a 289-seat auditorium with excellent acoustics for music. Admission is always FREE to view the Museum’s permanent collection.

This exhibition is curated by Stephanie Loeb Stepanek, curator emerita of prints and drawings at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. It is organized at the Kimbell Art Museum by Nancy E. Edwards, curator of European art and head of academic services and by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

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