Francisco de Goya was the most potent and creative Spanish artist of his time. Over the course of his long career, Goya moved from cheerful and optimistic to totally pessimistic and searching in his paintings, drawings, etchings, and frescoes. He completed some 500 oil paintings and murals, about 300 etchings and lithographs, and many hundreds of drawings. He was exceptionally versatile and his work expresses a very wide range of emotion. His technical freedom and originality likewise are remarkable. In technique as in content, Goya challenged the rules of art, preferring a freer style of painting and drawing, a unique figural language, and a brilliant economy of means. In his own day he was chiefly celebrated for his portraits, of which he painted more than 200; but his fame now rests equally on his other work.
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