At a very young age, Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (Fuendetodos, Zaragoza, 1746 – Bordeaux, 1828) began an apprenticeship in the studio of painter José Luzán. He completed his training in Rome and Madrid. He worked for the Real Fábrica de Tapices de Santa Bárbara [Santa Bárbara Royal Tapestry Factory] and with his tapestry cartoons he eventually became one of the most sought-after court painters. In 1786 he was appointed painter to the king, joining his brother-in-law Francisco Bayeu, and three years later was appointed court painter. Although his deafness and deteriorating health obliged him to renounce the position of director of painting at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando, he continued as an honorary director at the institution.
In the months following the French invasion, during the early stages of the War of Independence (1808–1814), Goya experienced ups and downs following the collapse of the Old Regime. In 1810 he began the series of etchings entitled Desastres de la guerra [Disasters of War], which he concluded around 1815 with the so called Caprichos enfáticos [Emphatic Caprichos].
After the war, and with the return of Fernando VII to the throne, those suspected of having collaborated with the French Emperor during the invasion were persecuted. Although Goya could not be formally accused, he withdrew from public life and moved to the Quinta del Sordo [Villa of the Deaf] where he painted the series known as the Pinturas negras [Black Paintings]. In 1924 he relocated to Bordeaux along with his friend the writer Leandro Fernández de Moratín.