GOYA: THE WITCHES AND OLD WOMEN ALBUM, The Courtauld Gallery, Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2, until 25 May 2015
This is a very special exhibition as it brings together all the known surviving drawings from one of Francisco Goya’s (1746 – 1828) private albums. It allows us to see his interpretations and thoughts on human nature, madness, mortality, superstitions and nightmares whether they be humorous or grotesque.
These albums, there were eight in all, were created after a near-fatal illness at the age of fifty which left him deaf. Even though he continued as the Spanish court painter his life and work changed after this. The albums were never meant to be seen outside a small group of friends and so as one might expect they have a greater freedom of expression.
Dr. Ernst Vegelin van Claerbergen, Head of The Courtauld Gallery says: “I am sure that visitors will be enthralled by this view of a very private and personal Goya.” I couldn’t agree more, it is an exquisite show.