Blog sobre Francisco de Goya. Espacio de amistad que aglutine a todos aquellos amigos de Goya o de lo que representa Goya, a la manera de un club on line.

Real Goya

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Mariano Fortuny Marsal, engraver.

Mariano Fortuny Marsal, engraver. (Reus 1838-Roma 1874)
by Silvia Pagliano.

Recently was presented in the exhibition room Ignacio Zuloaga in Fuendetodos an exceptional exhibition of the engravings by Mariano Fortuny, from the Municipal Institute of Museums of Reus (28 October 2016-8 January 2017).

I was invited by RTV Aragon for Angel Jimenez the work there exhibited, 29 engravings-currency from 1861 to 1870.

Seems a common place that all engraving work makes reference to don Francisco de Goya, in this case is justified the reference because it is the birth place of the Master, of the presence of the Museum which preserves his work and admiration that Fortuny professed to Goya.



15 X 20,9 CM


Fortuny was submitted by the provincial Council of Barcelona to the Hispanic-Moroccan War as cartoonist, to give testimony of that event, as he possessed exceptional qualities for it. This would be his first trip, in 1860, and would return sometimes. It was a kind of “photojournalist” without a camera, although then were evidence of this use in war fronts as in Crimea (1853-54). These drawings and sketches served as a motive in his paintings The Battle of Tetuán, 1863-1873, The Battle of Wad-Rass, and enjoyed great fame because of them.

These works do not constitute a “report” in the traditional sense. Collects images and moved them to the canvas, with pictorial mastery, of course, but there is no drama, there is no allegation of cruelty or barbarity in this war, there is not a critical eye, is the polar opposite of ‘Rightly or Wrongly’, 2/82 of the Disasters of War by Goya. Fortuny was an aesthete and also a melancholy man, and perhaps of this there is estrangement in his images.



20,5 X 26,4 CM


Within the engraving work of Fortuny it is not dominated by a “central theme”, such as Rembrandt or Piranesi, Ribera or Goya. In his plates touches several common themes in his time, as the traditional character (A Muleteer, a lousy, a beggar, etc.) already known in the work of Rembrandt and Callot. The engravings due to his stay in Morocco are master pieces of the engraving: Kabyle dead in 1867, Arabic sitting, Moroccan Horse, Arabic ensuring the corpse of his friend. Influenced by the hard landscape and the African light intensity he transmitted to his plates astonishingly. Shadows and scorching light zones. Dark bodies and shiny fabrics. There are etchings, sometimes combined with aquatint, of great delicacy.



AGUAFUERTE.  21,4 X 16,5 CM.


There are not testimonies about his knowledge of Goya’s engravings, but of the impression caused by the paintings of the Master when saw them in Madrid. But he knew the treatment of lights and shadows of the Aragonese.

Are known 35 engravings in total, generally of small and medium format of 10 x 6 cm up to 40 x 50 cm some.

His extraordinary fame as a painter put in second order his engraving work (and also his great watercolours) where Fortuny shows freedom and variety of styles in his way of carefully scratch, finely or nervous, fast, eventful, even frantic.

Genius and versatility of an artist often confused with his son Mariano Fortuny i Madrazo, known as decorator, designer, photographer, famous among the bourgeoisie of Venice. Our artist was reserved, shy, little lover of fame and social life of which wished to set aside is to enjoy of full creative freedom without pressures of his commercial success, that he never sought.



“IDILIO”, 1865
20 X 14,5 CM


His early death at age 35, leaves the question about his possible future artistic development. Some critics speculate a turn toward classicism, given his inclination towards the themes of Arcadia, as in Idyle. His stay in Rome for years influenced him deeply, admired classical Art and Renaissance, which had a deep knowledge. Other critics speak of his tendency towards Impressionism already evident in the painting technique of his recent paintings.

He died in 1874 and his funeral in Rome was apotheosis.


Silvia Pagliano.

The wall of Rothko

(Back to Cartuja of Goya)

Julián Gállego published the first book about Goya’s paintings in the Cartuja of Aula Dei in 1975. My love to the painter of Zaragoza, not of Fuendetodos, in spite of whoever gets upset, as at five was confirmed in San Gil church of Zaragoza, I owe it to Professor Gállego.

But the best medicine, the best antidote against the acute goyitis, I also owe it to him, because Julián Gállego was perhaps the person who best knew the life and the work of Velázquez.

When Goya turns heavy, the best remedy is to seek calm in Sevillian pictures.

As well and all, they have something in common, some kinship keep the major painters of the Spanish painting. Goya was the first that recorded and made prints of Velázquez pictures. Was his first 18th century fan.

But, the reader must be impatient for how much I take to get into Goya’s flour.


The Cartuja of Aula Dei is close to Zaragoza, about ten kilometers, and there became seasoned the young man Goya as a great murals painter, the largest enterprise had in his whole life. The Cartuja was abandoned in the 19th century and the rigor of its winters, the mists of the river Gallego, caused severe damage to several murals eaten by the saltpeter, which Buffet brothers repainted circa 1900 with new designs, although it is very likely to follow the master blurry lines of the goyescas scenes.

Not in vain, wrote with a great aphorism, time also paints. Rigorous winters, the French modernist painters, the successive restorers of Aula Dei, even the experts, the goyistas with smoke and the beginners, all want to paint in the Cartuja of Goya, and the geezer of Bordeaux makes a mockery of all of us; you here do not paint anything, pedantic.

I have visited the Cartuja this last summer with some friends from Oxford delighted by the magic of the place and by the paintings of Goya. It is like visiting Piero della Francesca in Arezzo or Rafael rooms in the Vatican. In Spain it is the only similar place in charm and beauty. My previous visits back to adolescence, around 1968, with fifteen years old.


At the scene of The Visitation pays powerfully our attention a wall of Burgundy wine colour.

It is the home of Zechariah, Isabel’s husband, Mary’s cousin. Zechariah has a bearing, a poise, a packaging of a prophet that emerges from the cave of a Cretan temple. Is like another painting, another scene, within the theme of the picture. A mythical parenthesis, would say, in the trace of the scene. The eye of the good painting taster is perplexed at this superb combination, the Carmine colour wall, old cherry colour, Damascus fatigued colour, wine old colour, that to a fan of Rothko can leave him stunned, looking to the Nile, and from the mysterious character, with fluvial beard, like an amnesiac Homer that has just stumble with the Minotaur or Polyphemus in the cave of his gloomy home.


Where did the young Goya take out that scene? In whom he thought, because by itself is worth the visit to the Cartuja of Peñaflor?

For me is the top of the mystery of the Cartuja of Goya. Is like the first scene naïf and terrifying at the same time of the future Black Paintings.


By the way, in the Goya’s cupola of El Pilar, I have been able to see up close the St. Lambert (28 March 2007), a Saint of Zaragoza with the head in his hand, and it is a creepy figure, despite being surrounded by Saints in Glory.


César Pérez Gracia

Eduardo Salavera (Zaragoza, 1944 – 2016)

Person sensitive and especially attentive to what art looked around, never missing a demonstration, went to all exhibitions -even the inauguration if nothing prevented- and was elegant and positive in their opinions, that no judgments, about the work and the intention of others. He preferred to remain silent rather than point out.

I had the fortune to treat him personally because we had rediscovered in the seventies, recalling the old times of the sixties in the Academy of don Alejandro Cañada. I prepared Architecture and he the Fine Arts membership. He went to Barcelona and I did for Madrid… until meet us again a decade later in the common Zaragoza.

When, both retired, we saw each other at Isabel Bailo Gallery, owner, friend and excellent true seller, i.e., of which sold much and immediately paid the artist. A truthful gallerist, worthy heir to parental honesty and righteousness. Actually, the shamelessness of selling art and not pay the artist is, in addition to quite usual, as simple as stupid, poor artists, although they put the self-proclaimed “Gallery” clouds in a medium supposedly artistic as which has been usual in the provincial Zaragoza of the 80’s, 90’s and following. In the general atmosphere, as superficial as children’s opinions, have been repeating, wavily, generations of insolvent leaders of opinion and upstart’s chroniclers, non-stop to a long roster of mediocre subsidized. And thus looks it now the hair to the city in this bad time of general moral and economic crisis… in which fortunately has had to come from outside CaixaBank to teach us that it is right what here has spurned for years.

We used our good chats with a coffee and talked of Zaragoza, its artists and the so-called artistic “environment”. Then I wrote my essay on “Goya to the limit” and told him the encouragement coming from abroad from good friends like Jan Martens and Hal Robinson, MGIP colleagues (Motovun Group of International Publishers) as writes Jean Arcache, its current President and director of the editorial “Place des Editeurs“, Paris “first and foremost, is a group of friends who enjoy exceptional books editing“; as well as other major publishers and responsible for publications of major international museums. Personal satisfactions exclusively enjoyed from the intimacy and only entrusted to true friends. Eduardo was one of those few worthy of confidence; Finally, and after, as well as friend, was always very discreet and intelligent person… who knew capture the truth of the satisfaction of vocational duty, and distinguish it from the straw hack and fake from a trivial ego.

I used his super library books and even had the honour of receiving his gift of “The world of Goya in his drawings“, by don Enrique Lafuente Ferrari. Thank you, once more, Eduardo.


By the way, that in regard with Goya, used to discuss everything with him had relationship, in this homeland of the largest artist who gave Aragon. From the successes and failures of the initiatives and local exhibitions or the false attributions that, occasionally, intrepid collectors and interested people launch to the typical true-blue air of the area. Or the latest news that some specialist attributed to Goya without taking into account the impossible anatomy and very clear failures that this piece cries out to the world.

In short, a bit of everything, of worldly frivolity of a city like Zaragoza and also talks and greater shaft parcels. As to purpose of the light in the Zaragoza landscape Eduardo rightly pointed out the subtlety of grey and ochre in the palette of Goya and I encouraged him to write and make it public on the blog of “Realgoya“. But artists are reluctant to write about this kind of things. Also since years ago another painter, Jorge Gay, has my invitation to do so in about the goyesco roses… without result up to now.

Always interesting and juicy conversations about art and artists. Or organizers of exhibitions and art defenders (called latent creators) of individual experiences as a David Silvester, on the occasion of the exhibition of Francis Bacon in Madrid (Prado Museum). The same David Sylvester who in 1992, after twenty years of work, would present at the Grand Casino of Knokke (Belgium) the five volumes of the Catalogue Raisonné of Magritte. And to whose European presentation, under the auspices of the Menil Foundation in Houston, I had the honour to be invited.

Talks, changes of impressions, information back and forth, always active, enriching, entertaining and interesting that it would only frustrate Eduardo disease. I knew by him of health problems and we saw less each other, but we talked on the phone from time to time, although we were not from last Christmas, completed the great success of his exhibition at La Lonja.



Eduardo passed away on May 23 in Zaragoza.

What can I say? Salavera was a fine, educated and discreet guy who knew how to make a name in his hometown without fanfare or free poses; with simplicity and the truth of his painting at the front; with all the colour always bright even in paintings of the English coasts, in memory of visits and some summer next to his daughter living there. He was someone who had the fortune of going through life learning with curiosity of what was happening to his around and who has marched with the fulfilled duty. Also with him I learned that, to be a man fair and smart at maturity, you have to be able to give hope, that is the duty of graced with talent (Capote). Is there no mediocrity? How it won’t be, if we are imperfect, capricious and weak! And that, at maturity, the first question of any honest person is if you really believe that you deserve what you got. Salvador Sostres writes it and I subscribe it entirely.

There is that, might say, with the satisfaction that brings -at least- trying it honestly. With dominion. Thank you very much, Eduardo. How good would this world be if everyone did the same, in your way, with happiness and pride. With the same honesty and conscience, you did. We would all be better.

Rest in peace, friend. I think that you’ve won be in a good place.


Gonzalo de Diego

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