Macabre Goya sketches reunite in London

 In Artists & Special Collections, Francisco Goya, In the News
Francisco Goya's "Dream of a Good Witch"

Francisco Goya’s “Dream of a Good Witch”

Sketches by Spanish artist Francisco Goya depicting strange and unusual subjects will rejoin his other drawings at a London gallery for a 2015 exhibit.

The Guardian reports that the Courtauld Gallery recently announced 22 drawings by Goya will be reunited. The sketches portray witches and old women, and were drawn toward the end of Goya’s life.

The album is one of eight the artist produced for himself, each labeled with letters A through H by art scholars. They were created over a period of 30 years when he was 50 years old in 1796, and are said to reflect Goya’s views on human nature and the world around him.

Among the reunited sketches is “Nightmare,” depicting a smiling witch carrying two skeletal bodies, while another, “Dream of a Good Witch,” shows an old woman with a sack of tied-up babies on her back.

The gallery is assembling album D in its entirety for an exhibition titled “Goya: The Witches and Old Women Album” that will run Feb. 26 to May 25. Stephanie Buck, Courtauld Gallery’s curator of drawings, claims none of Goya’s albums have been brought together in this manner.

“There is a reason it hasn’t been done before,” said Buck. “It is very hard. They are disseminated all over the world in major museum and private collections and they are works no one wants to part with. It is an outstanding thing that we can bring every single sheet together.”

In the U.S., the Boston Museum of Fine Arts is showing one of the largest collections of Goya ever assembled in North America for its show, “Goya: Order and Disorder.” The exhibit opened Oct. 12 and will run until Jan. 19, 2015.

Started in the 1960s, the Park West Gallery’s collection contains artwork by masters such as Francisco Goya. Goya is considered to be one of the last Old Masters, whose work captured the horrors of war and human nature’s dark side.

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