There are countless artists who express how important and influential Goya is, or has been, in his career; the inspiration that comes from him; how much they owe and how are identified with his legacy. This inevitably happens with all those artists who come to Fuendetodos; a small village located 44 kilometres from Zaragoza, in which for family economy reasons came to be born Francisco de Goya, but a month later the whole family resided again in Zaragoza.
Thus, Goya is very influential. There is no doubt of it. If an actor says considered heir, others are not those to doubt even his intentions or the effects on anyone. Is there any chance where we can believe more in others than each one in particular of himself and his works?
Another different matter, however, is to analyse with greater or less depth the artistic work of everyone and verify that indeed there is -let’s say- a father-son relationship not only in intention, but also in the final result.
That Picasso considers heir to Velázquez is physically and mentally tested with his study of Las Meninas. It does not doubt that the Picasso’s black time is, among others, in that wave. Therefore, as stated by David Silvester, analytic Cubism developed Picasso in a searcher, not a discoverer. That the result to the large audience likes more or less is a separate topic; but influence there is and in addition is manifest and analytically evident, also from the creative point of view.
There are however a good number of artists showing heirs of Goya but of whom we cannot remember in their careers any creative interest moment. We can warn so works “inspired” by Goya and his work, but naturally cannot be honestly described but simple imitation of Goya’s style or way, or mere copies made with luck or misfortune. It depends on.
And it is curious that the tremendous power of Goya has not conquered after-effects that mostly non-verbal manifestations, but not a noteworthy art. Yes, there are exceptions to the rule. For example, I see Goya’s influence by origin theme, -The Disasters of War- on a Picasso painting his Guernica which also Goya’s ‘Black Paintings’ may be found inside…
To copy is good and interesting for learning… If it is done right. It is better a good copy than a bad original. And this in drawing, architecture, painting, sculpture and other arts. In fact, since the creation of the Academy, the copy is regarded as important in the formation of different artistic specialties, being useful complement in the academic program because it is not so easy to copy well. At the end and after a good copy, make mannerism of the orthodox and finish with the originality of those who are gifted and show it. We are all heirs to someone. The positive side of the issue is that “someone” be effective educator and certainly worthwhile as a useful reference. And, of course, his teaching “fall” on fertile ground.
And without wanting to be exhaustive even there is another interesting consideration, says Adrian Stokes: I would say -he says- that modern art, traditional art of our time is, let’s say it this way, the jargon of the art as a whole: its relationship with the old masters is analogous to what slang is having with ordinary language.
So is seen by the clear majority of artists who come to Goya and thus understand it before admitting the influence of the great master. Thing that to the citizen means strange, difficult to appreciate and away from their reality. But even in the case of many artists then that knowledge take them to produce anything worthy to be qualified as significant. There are always exceptions, of course.
Gonzalo de Diego