Courtney's Reviews > Francisco Goya: A Life

Francisco Goya by Evan S. Connell
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's review
Aug 17, 2009

it was ok
bookshelves: art
Read in December, 2009

While the book has many interesting facts and is well written, there are a couple items that I consider major hinderances. First, the book's title is rather misleading. One assumes the book to discuss Goya's life and work as the central focal point. The title does suggest the discussion of more secondary items, but one would assume "life & times" to focus on how the times influenced Goya's work. Instead we are given snippets of Goya's presence as a way to join together historical figures Connell is interested in. Unfortunately, Goya is not fleshed out enough to serve as the center piece of this work. I often read several pages before remembering that the book is supposed to be about Goya. Quite simply there is not enough of a connection between the content of the book and Goya for this to be marketed as a book about Goya. Further to this point, there is little examination of Goya's work, or what inspired it. At best the reader gets a hint of what is going on in Goya's world. Lastly, Connell's own comments randomly appear throughout the book with little context, and are always out of place. One gets the sense that Connell is recording what he has read and adding brief insights similar to a journal or work of fiction, rather than a nonfiction work about an artist.

As an artist myself, I had been interested in this book to learn about Goya, the world he lived in, and how it influenced his work. While I finished the book and found some facts of history interesting, the book I was hoping to read was sorely missing. A rather shallow attempt at art history.
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