Goya: Visions of Flesh and Blood | Chicago Reader

Goya: Visions of Flesh and Blood

135 minutes 2015

Robert Hughes writes in his magisterial biography of Francisco de Goya that the visionary Spanish painter was "the last old Master and the first Modernist," a view shared by this fascinating documentary (2015). Centered on a special exhibition at London's National Gallery, the video traces Goya's creative growth from his early days as an aspiring court painter to his impassioned canvasses indicting the Napoleonic wars and on through the intimate domestic scenes he painted during his final years. As curator Xavier Bray explains, Goya's most striking innovation involved his commissioned portraits of royals and power brokers; by eliminating the conventional props and tokens of the sitter's worldly status, Goya revealed the psychology of his subjects through their gazes and bearing. Director David Bickerstaff peppers his lively narrative with the insights of curators, painters, and historians, able storytellers all. In English and subtitled Spanish.

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