Antonio Saura Imaginary Portrait of Goya 1966

Artwork details

Artist
Antonio Saura 1930–1998
Title
Imaginary Portrait of Goya
Date 1966
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 1295 x 965 mm
frame: 1352 x 1024 x 76 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Purchased 1966
Reference
T00866
Not on display

Display caption

Goya’s painting of a dog’s head peering upwards from behind a slope, painted directly onto the walls of his house, was the inspiration for Saura’s Imaginary Portrait of Goya. Saura explained: ‘I have always thought of this head as Goya himself watching “something happen”’. While evoking a great national tradition, this portrait may have been quietly subversive. Goya was famous as a witness to the corruption and barbarities of the Napoleonic invasion. Saura, painting at a time when General Franco still ruled Spain, invoked this spirit but turned the watching head outwards on the contemporary world.

July 2012

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