Art: The Steep Path

Had Francisco Goya died of the infection that deafened him at 47, he would be remembered only as a Spanish court painter with a knack for candid likenesses. But the tortuous, stone-silent path he entered in middle age led steeply upward, and he clambered gloomily to greatness. The blackest and harshest of the old masters, Goya made bitterness a virtue and found pessimism a fountain of youth. A big traveling show of Goya drawings, on display this week in San Francisco, proves once again how great his final achievement was.

Troublesome Tourist. Goya's beginnings...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!