Cover image for Goya : to every story there belongs another
Goya : to every story there belongs another
Hofmann, Werner, 1928-2013.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Goya. English
Publication Information:
New York, N.Y. : Thames & Hudson, [2003]

Physical Description:
336 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 32 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
N7113.G68 H62813 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

On Order



Hofmann places Goya's paintings, drawings and prints in a biographical context, revealing the specific character of each phase of the artist's life and work. He discusses the glory and the pain of faith evinced by Goya's early work, the artist's parabolic representation of the threat posed by the French Revolution, his dramatic documentation of the French occupation of Spain, his variations on cruelty in the Disasters of War etchings, and the religious faith apparent in his late work. Hofmann also relates the artist and his work to contemporary intellectual developments, drawing comparison with writers, critics and philosophers from Goethe to William Blake to the Marquis de Sade.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

A Goya revival much like the recent resurgence of attention paid to Vermeer and Caravaggio is under way, claiming the canny attention of Susan Sontag,ulia Blackburn, Robert Hughes, and now one more commentator with a distinct point of view. Hofmann's handsomely and generously illustrated volume, the best visual resource among the recent spate of Goya books, provides a useful corollary. The former director of theunsthalle in Hamburg, he offers a clarifying discussion of Goya's obsession with masquerade and his deliberate "transgression of borders" in his bold mixing of the sacred and the secular. Goya's power resides in his profound ambiguity, Hofmann argues, which is expressed most unnervingly in the print series titled "Caprichos" and the so-called Black Paintings. "Strange caprices and sober facts," witchcraft, exorcism, nightmares, violence, and conflicts between men and women, the beautiful and the homely, rich and poor, the sane and the mad--in short, the powerful and the powerless--all fascinated Goya, who invented "intricate codes" to violate tradition, express his skepticism regarding Christian salvation, satirize society, and unflinchingly depict the "sheer pandemonium" of the human condition. Hofmann goes far in articulating what it is in Goya's enduring works that so disturbs and moves us. --Donna Seaman Copyright 2004 Booklist

Choice Review

This monograph on Goya's art is a hybrid between coffee-table survey and scholarly inquiry. Large, high quality color reproductions of Goya's paintings, prints, and drawings fill the pages. The wide-ranging and interdisciplinary text progresses roughly chronologically, and emphasizes three print series: the Caprichos, Desastres de la Guerra, and Disparates. Hofmann, a former curator of expansive humanist learning, presents several overarching ideas about Goya's art: as "double-sided," engaged with emotion, and a means to healing human alienation and suffering. Frequently comparing Goya's pictures and writing to literary works, Hofmann cites several 18th-century thinkers (primarily German) and artists to identify a zeitgeist that included Goya. Yet, at the same time, he wants to demonstrate that Goya belonged to a Spanish tradition of realism and populism. Although sometimes insightful, Hofmann's discussions and conclusions are not sustained by theory, methodology, or historically informed visual analysis. The eclectic bibliography and the author's disclaimer of not having read the recent Goya literature indicate why many of his points seem untenable today. Like Fred Licht (1980), Hofmann muses on Goya's singularity but disagrees that it signifies the artist's "modernity," without providing an alternative interpretation. Not for undergraduates. ^BSumming Up: Optional. Graduate students through faculty. A. Luxenberg University of Georgia