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  Deaf History, Europe

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1746 - 1828: Francisco Goya, Painter (ES)

1746 - 1828: Francisco Goya, Painter (ES)

Born Francisco de Goya y Lucientes on March 30, 1746 in northern Spain.

Goya was a painter, draftsman and print maker artist who would later be called the “Father of the Modern Era” and be bestowed with the title of “first painter to the king.” 

In the winter of 1792-93, when Goya was 46, he developed a mysterious illness that nearly killed him. He survived but lost his hearing, and for the next 35 years was “deaf as a stump.”

Of the nearly two dozen diagnoses that had been proposed as the cause of that illness, none fits the nature of the disorder better than a viral encephalitis, and of those viruses known to cause an encephalitis that results in deafness, none was more likely to have been responsible for destroying Goya’s hearing than the mumps virus.

(...)

And yet, only after the illness did he achieve full mastery of the face in his portraits. Only after his hearing was gone did his skill as a portraitist reach its zenith, possibly, it has been suggested, because deafness made him more aware of gesture, physical expression, and all the minute particulars of how faces and bodies reveal themselves.

goya

The shooting of the rebels on the night of May 3, 1803 by Francisco de Goya

"This picture is not only a masterpiece of Goya, but also one of the highest achievements of European historical painting, its paradigm. It recreates a real event. After the battle of Puerto del Sol, the surviving Spaniards were executed on the night of May 3 at the hill of Principe-Pio.

But the unconditional certainty of the historical fact is translated into a universally significant symbol of heroism and suffering, courageous confrontation with blind and brutal force. Force, devoid of individuality, for the chain of French soldiers is anonymous – we do not see their face.

In the group of Spaniards,each image is individual, each carries a whole world, tragic and doomed. In the picture there is forever a moment before the shot, it finds here a duration, painful and endless." (https://painting-planet.com/the-shooting-of-the-rebels-on-the-night-of-may-3-1803-by-francisco-de-goya/)

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