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Goya’s Imagined Reality

Keenly aware of the power of time to illuminate and destroy, Goya sought unprecedented ways to capture for posterity the human condition, both as he observed it and as his creative imagination transformed it. His innovative mastery of varied techniques and media gave him exceptional freedom to express the complexities and contradictions of the world around him. This talk will examine a selection of paintings, prints, and drawings to reveal some of the ways Goya described a world that is both new and familiar.

Stephanie Loeb Stepanek is curator emerita at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), Boston, with which she has been associated since her graduation from Wheaton College, Norton, MA. She is co-curator of the MFA exhibition Goya: Order and Disorder (October 12, 2014-January 19, 2015) and was the coauthor of The Prints of Lucas van Leyden and His Contemporaries (1983), accompanying an exhibition held at the MFA and the National Gallery of Art. Stepanek worked closely with the noted Goya scholar and former MFA curator of prints and drawings Eleanor Sayre on the exhibitions The Changing Image: Prints by Francisco Goya, 1974, and Goya and the Spirit of Enlightenment, 1989, coauthoring the catalogue. Stepanek has worked on numerous other exhibitions at the MFA, including Albrecht Dürer, Master Printmaker (1971), Winslow Homer (1977), The Pleasures of Paris (1991), and French Prints from the Age of the Musketeers (1998). She has contributed to an array of scholarly publications and conferences since the 1970s.
Relevant research areas: Western Europe, 18th Century, 19th Century, Etching

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