Date: April 14, 2011
Creator: Prater, Paige & Abel, Mickey S.
Description: This paper discusses Francisco de Goya. Abstract: Francisco de Goya artistically recorded evolving definitions of madness that preoccupied the eighteenth-century. Questions arise regarding the origin and nature of madness, what to do with those that society deemed insane, and how to philosophically differentiate delusion from reason and imagination. In 'Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason,' twentieth-century philosopher and art critic Michael Foucault traces a history of madness. He singles out Goya as an instrumental figure in influencing Western thought on the subject (Foucault 285). Goya's interest in themes of madness, imagination, and reason is apparent in his published and private artwork, particularly 'Citadel on a Rock' (Gudiol 10-16) (Figure 1), and the murals formerly in the Quinto del Sordo, his country house during the last few years of his life (Junquera 18, 28). Employing Foucault's discourse to these specific works reveals Goya's ability to represent visually the fundamental tension between Romantic and Classical ideas, especially the ambiguous line between reason and madness.
Contributing Partner: UNT Honors College