Pierre Gassier, The Drawings of Goya in two volumes.
Volume 1: The Complete Albums (London, Thames and Hudson, 1973), First English Edition translated from the French by Robert Allen and James Emmons, 656 pages, 482 b/w illustrations, quarto, 30 x 22 cm, hard cover, colour dust jacket with Goya drawing, press clippings inserted inside back cover in folded white sheet, weight 2.8 kg. Preface by Xavier de Salas, Abbreviations and Signs, General Introduction, Sanlúcar Album, Madrid Album, Unfinished Album, Black Border Album, Journal-Album, Sepia Album, Bordeaux Album, Bibliography, Glossary of Spanish Terms.
Volume 2: The Sketches, Studies and Individual Drawings (London: Thames and Hudson, 1975), First English Edition translated from the French by James Emmons, 582 pages, 407 Plates, 9 in colour, 29.8 x 21.8 cm, hard cover, colour dust jacket with Goya drawing, press clipping inserted inside back cover in folded white sheet, weight 2.6 kg. Abbreviations and Signs, General Introduction, Colour Illustrations, Part I: Preliminary Drawings for Paintings, Part II: Drawings for Prints, Part III: Miscellaneous Drawings, Bibliography, Glossary of Spanish Terms.
Total weight of two volumes: 5.4 kg.
Condition: Volume 1: Near fine, except for light toning of page edges; and light foxing of inside front cover and front free endpaper recto, and inside back cover and rear free endpaper. Volume 2: Fine, except for a little light toning of some page edges.
Goya has long been recognised as Spain’s most important artist of his era, sometimes referred to as the last of the Old Masters and the first of the Moderns. His allegorically and mythologically themed paintings, drawings, etchings and frescoes, at first relaxed, became progressively darker and non-traditional, focused on avant-garde techniques, studies of the nature of composition, and overriding concerns with religious, social, economic and political art, portraiture, studies of tempestuous contemporary life and the atrocities of war.
These two volumes present all of Goya’s drawings known at the time of publication, including some now lost. Volume 1, The Complete Albums, reveals Goya’s exceptional skills as a draughtsman and the drawings as an essential aspect of his work, in which he works out his ideas in sequences. Drawings in The Complete Albums are published here for the first time in their original order and actual size. These works were produced between 1796, when he was staying with the Duchess of Alba and 1828, until his death in Bordeaux. Volume 2, The Sketches, Studies and Individual Drawings, reproduces many little-known masterpieces included for the first time in a single volume, with the majority in their original size. After Goya’s death, his son broke up and sold the Albums. Nearly 500 sheets have survived to the present, scattered worldwide in public and private Collections.
Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (1746–1828) was born in Aragon, studied painting from the age of 14 and moved to Madrid for further study. The German painter Anton Mengs asked Goya to produce Rococo-style tapestry cartoons for the royal palace and suggested that he study the work of Velázquez. In 1786 Goya became a Spanish court painter, was appointed Director of the Royal Academy in 1795 and in 1799 achieved the highest rank for a Spanish court painter. By this time Goya was painting and drawing themes from the War of Independence with a sharp awareness of prevailing social conditions and a modern attitude to individual freedom. His work centred on clerical vices, the Inquisition’s barbaric practices, corruption, violence, prostitution, exploitation of women, insanity and asylums and the violent excesses of war. Napoleon’s Peninsular War in Spain affected Goya deeply, leading to a series of prints, drawings and other works, some published posthumously.
The author and compiler of The Drawings of Goya, Pierre Gassier (1915-2000), is regarded as the leading specialist on Goya. Born in Étampes, Paris, Professor Pierre Gassier was a notable art critic who held the Chair of History of Art at the University of Neuchâtel in Switzerland, but did much of his work in Spain. Gassier curated several exhibitions for the Prado in Madrid on the life and work of Goya. In 1974, Gassier and his partner, Juliet Wilson Bareau, published in Barcelona Life and Work of Francisco de Goya, which has been described as the best and most complete work on the subject. Gassier said that the success of Goya with recent audiences is due to its modernity and the contemporaneity of his paintings. Pierre Gassier died in Marbella, Spain, in 2000.
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