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The Museo del Prado launches its "Goya in the Prado" website Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Museo del Prado is launching Goya in the Prado, a website within its official website devoted entirely to Goya and one that will, for the first time, include the Museum’s entire and remarkable collection of works and documents by the artist. Until now the Prado’s Goya collection (which is the largest and most important in the world) had only been known in part through publications. With the support of Telefónica as Benefactor Sponsor of the Visitor Attention Service, and that of the Museum’s own online initiatives, the general public and specialists can now access the more than 1,000 works by Goya – paintings, drawings, prints and documents –housed in the Prado. This is an extremely important initiative given the way that it makes so many high-resolution images of the works available to the public, in addition to all the documentary references and factual information known to the Museum on this exceptional collection.

The Museo del Prado launches its "Goya in the Prado" website

Goya en el Prado homepage

As from today, all users of the Prado’s official website, which is entirely sponsored by Telefónica, will find a new website entirely devoted to the Museum’s large holdings of the work of Francisco de Goya. The most important collection of his work in the world, it comprises more than half of all his known output and includes many of his most celebrated works.

Goya in the Prado aims to become an indispensable tool for Goya studies and for the general public. It makes more than 1,000 works available to the user, encompassing the paintings, drawings, prints and documents by the artist housed in the Prado. Notable features within this exceptionally important and interesting project include the option to access online the unique collection of works on paper by Goya in the Museum, which is not normally on display for conservation reasons. In addition to prints and drawings, this part of the Museum’s collection of Goya’s works also includes documents of vital importance for an appreciation of his personality, such as his letters to his friend Martín Zapater.

The new website reflects the Museo del Prado’s interest in disseminating and facilitating access to its collections on the internet and in offering extensive and up-to-date information about them via its website. Goya in the Prado is a dynamic website that will be regularly updated with new information in order to achieve its aim of becoming the principal reference point for work on the artist and the primary way for the general public to approach his art.

While the texts on the Goya in the Prado website are only in Spanish, the Museum recommends that even non-Spanish speakers consult them, given the scope and importance of the catalogue of images accessible on this site.

Features of Goya in the Prado

Organised by type of work (paintings, drawings, prints and documents), the site offers rigorous technical and historical information on each of the works as well as a comprehensive biographical section, together reflecting the results of the research and documentation undertaken by the Museum over the past few years. It also includes high resolution images (min. 5MB; 150-300ppp) that allow for a remarkably detailed appreciation of all the works and for comparisons between them.

Goya in the Prado aims to expand free, unlimited access to the Museum’s information as part of the overall strategy to disseminate and promote its collections that the Prado has promoted in recent years.

How the site is organised

Goya in the Prado is structured into the following sections:

Paintings

Without doubt, the best known facet of the Museum’s Goya collection, due to its visibility in the galleries, is its collection of 152 paintings, which encompasses every period of the artist’s career and includes some of his most celebrated works. This group is organised on the website by series and genres: tapestry cartoons, the “Black Paintings”, religious compositions, historical subjects, allegorical paintings, the Majas, portraits and genre paintings. In addition, it will include paintings by followers and imitators as well as late copies.

Drawings

The Museo del Prado has 620 drawings by Goya, including those in the Italian Sketchbook. Together they comprise the largest known collection of the artist’s drawings in existence. This is an exceptionally important group of works both with regard to its size and for the role that it played in the formal and technical advances that came about in the art of drawing in the 18th century. Goya considered drawing to be a highly effective expressive medium in the service of his creative liberty.

The albums reveal the artist’s spontaneous command of technique, power of invention and the medium’s ability to convey his interior universe in a powerful manner. Conceived to be looked at in small spaces, in the manner of a visual diary, these drawings constitute Goya’s most private work.

Preparatory drawings constitute the graphic medium in which Goya set down his preliminary ideas for each of his compositions, subsequently executing them as prints on copper plates in order to create his celebrated series.

Prints

The Museum has sets of the first editions of Goya’s print series (Copies after Velázquez, the Caprichos, The Disasters of War, The Tauromaquia and The Follies), as well as important proof states of the Caprichos and other single prints.Freed from the obligations involved in commissioned works, through printmaking.

Goya developed a totally independent artistic activity in which the world of ideas acquired an unprecedented importance within the context of this period. Goya took a step forward with his prints, going beyond the parameters of his era and presenting timeless, universal concepts and images that allow these works to be read in a contemporary mode today.

The creative process revealed to us through the artist’s numerous preparatory drawings and proof states allows for an appreciation of the rigour with which he created his work, aiming at formal perfection and the precise expression of his conceptual intentions. Executed with an astonishing command of the various printmaking techniques, particularly evident in his ability to combine etching and aquatint, these series place Goya at a level that no other artist had previously achieved.

Documents

Hand-written documents, of which the Museum has 123, are crucial for an understanding of Goya as a man and an artist. In this sense his letters to his friend Martín Zapater - written between 1775 and 1799 when Goya was achieving the advancement at court that would lead to his appointment as First Court Painter - not only contribute biographical information of a professional and personal type but also clearly reveal the artist’s character.

The same is the case with the late letters written by the artist from exile in Bordeaux, in this case to the banker Joaquín María Ferrer. They constitute the closest we have to a lifetime testament by the artist in his old age.

Finally, the manuscript commentary on the Caprichos is a unique source for understanding the interpretation given to these works during Goya’s lifetime.

Biography

This section provides a detailed chronology of Goya’s life and work, incorporating the latest research on the artist.

Bibliography

In addition to the specific bibliographical references that accompany each of the works, this section features a digital bibliography that includes the principal publications on the artist published up to 1920 (many of them difficult to access), which have constituted the basis for subsequent knowledge of the artist.

Search tool

Making full use of the potential offered by information technology and communication, Goya in the Prado includes an advanced search tool that allows users access to the contents of this site in the fullest possible manner.

The creators of Goya in the Prado

Goya in the Prado has been created by various departments within the Museum.

The formal aspects of the project were developed by the Museum’s Department of Documentation, Archive and Library, which is also responsible for the creation and constant updating of the contents of the Museum’s “Online Gallery”, with more than 5,000 entries on works of art in the collection. The information accessible on this new website has been compiled by the curatorial departments responsible for Goya’s work in the Museum, namely the Department of 18th-century Spanish Painting and Goya, and the Department of Prints and Drawings. It has also benefited from the collaboration of the Documentation and Archive Service.

The co-ordination of the website’s design, its prototype, functionality, content structuring, creation of data-base and CMS has been carried out by the Museum’s Web Service, which is part of the Communications Department.

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