Witness: Reality and Imagination in the Prints of Francisco Goya

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Witness: Reality and Imagination in the Prints of Francisco Goya

22 April, 2017 to 06 September, 2017


Philadelphia Museum of Art
2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA 19130

Francisco Goya witnessed decades of political turmoil and social upheaval as court painter to four successive rulers of Spain. Among his greatest achievements were four series of etchings that chronicle the transformation of Spanish society and his own personal visions.

The prints featured in the exhibition show Goya's remarkable ability to move between documentary realism and expressive invention. Unlike his commissioned paintings, his graphic works allowed him the freedom to explore provocative subjects such as prostitution, witchcraft, and political corruption. This exhibition also highlights how Goya pushed the limits of printmaking to heighten the expressive effect of his subjects.