Goya – The Witches and Old Women Album


Having seen the posters around London advertising the exhibition Goya – The Witches and Old Women Album, it occurred to me that I’m really only interested in the topic rather than the art itself. So I decided to visit the shop and get myself the catalogue.

Goya is most known for The Nude Maja and The Clothed Maja but the work on show at The Courtard Gallery until 25 May is very different. They seem to me the ideas in the artist’s head that have been compiled into a small collection. And it is fascinating to see the dark thoughts and fantasies that he had in his mind.

Reading online about the life of Goya it appears that towards the end of his life there may have been severe health problems due to the materials around that time that he would have used to create his art. This is one hypothesis into the disturbing and dark work he was creating.

Comparing the female figures in this collection of work to The Nude Maja and The Clothed Maja they are at opposite poles to each other. One is of youthful beauty and the other is of old age evil. The title of this exhibition does say it all.

Looking around at images created today are we still saying youth equals good and old equates to bad?

8 OCTOBER 2015 Read the catalogue of Goya: The Portraits it compares a couple of images by Helmut Newton that he took in 1981 called “The Unclothed and the Clothed” with The Nude Maja and The Clothed Maja by Goya. The Newton photographs are of four female models simulating a walk down a catwalk with one image clothed and the other nude. I never made the connection between these works until now.