Major Goya exhibition opens in Spain

(dpa) - Spain's King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia on Monday inaugurated a major exhibition showing more than 200 works by Francisco de Goya (1746-1828) at Madrid's Prado art museum.

The exhibition titled "Goya in times of war" marks the bicentennial of the 1808-1814 Peninsular War during which French forces invaded Spain.

The works on display date from a 25-year period beginning in 1795, when Goya had been left deaf by a serious disease and sought to focus on what was really important in life, exhibition curator Manuela Mena explained.

"Goya ... does what any human being would do: dedicate himself to freedom, love, life," Mena said.

The painter dubbed "the father of modern art" was also painfully aware of the horrors of war, depicted in two of his most famous paintings, The Third of May 1808 and The Charge of the Mamelukes, which have been restored for the exhibition.

The works on display include 90 paintings, 65 of which do not belong to the Prado's permanent collection and 13 of which are shown in Spain for the first time, as well as drawings, etchings and lithographies.

"It is not a diary of war, let alone one of a patriotic painter," Prado director Miguel Zugaza said.

The exhibition focuses on how Goya related to the historic events of his time as well as on his artistic evolution towards more independence and stylistic progress.

The exhibition will run through July 13.

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