Art Appreciation: Francisco de Goya

courtyard_with_lunatics_by_goya_1794

Yard With Lunatics. This painting by Francisco Goya from the late 1700s leaves me cold. It depicts a mental institution in all its wanton ghoulishness; painted when the painter himself feared (correctly) that he was going mad.

Perhaps this work of art was born out of the same impulse that drove Stephen King to write The Shining: “Still tormented by a desire to hurt his children, he turned to the technique he had learned as a child himself—believing that if he wrote about something bad, then it would never happen. This resulted in The Shining, the story of a little boy whose alcoholic father tries to kill him.” An attempted exorcism of fate through art.

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