Goya's Nightmares Are Unleashed At The Courtauld Gallery
Londonist Rating: ★★★★★
No artist portrays the macabre and the nightmarish like Goya and, in this exhibition at the Courtauld Gallery, an excellent collection of his prints and drawings are brought together for an historic showcase. It brings together all the surviving drawings from his famed Witches and Old Women album for the first time.
Goya is known for his haggard witches and this show doesn't disappoint with one giant carrying off her screaming victim who has been bound with snakes, while in another work two witches fight as dark demonic beings claw at them from above and below. The works get even darker as one character is carrying a bundle of tied up babies, but the most shocking piece depicts a woman holding a baby in her hands, looking up at the viewer just as she's about to start devouring the infant.
It's not simply witches that Goya portrayed but all sorts of nightmarish scenarios including a woman being attacked by a lecherous man, ghoulish looking monks and most surreally a screaming woman holding a bed sheet while riding a bull. He also explores the fragility of old age with an elderly person tumbling down the stairs and an old woman hunched in prayer..
Goya's imagination is truly let loose in this fantastic collection of prints and drawings, and it's the best art exhibition of the year so far.
Goya: The Witches and Old Women album is on at The Courtauld Gallery until 25 May. Tickets are £8.50 for adults and includes admission to the permanent collection.
Last Updated 27 February 2015