Self-portrait, c. 1796-97. Museo del Prado, Madrid
30 March 1746|
Fuendetodos, Aragon, Spain
|Died||16 April 1828
|Known for||Painting, drawing|
I have now established myself in a most enviable manner. Those who require something of me must seek me out – I remain apart. I work for no one unless he is a high-ranking personality or a friend.
In art, there is no need for color; I see only light and shade. Give me a crayon, and I will paint your portrait.
With all my work, I have not more, with my shares in the bank and the Academy, than twelve or thirteen thousand reales a year, and with all this, I am as contented as the happiest man on earth.
Fantasy, abandoned by reason, produces impossible monsters; united with it, she is the mother of the arts and the origin of marvels.
I have just returned from Arenas and feel very tired. His Excellency loaded me with a thousand honours; I have painted his portrait and that of his wife and boy and girl with unexpected success, for other artists had been there previously and not been successful.
I will give a proof to demonstrate with facts that there are no rules in painting and that oppression or servile obligation of making all study or follow the same path is a great impediment for the young who profess this very difficult art.
Painting (like poetry) chooses from universals what is most apposite. It brings together, in a single imaginary being, circumstances and characteristics which occur in nature in many different persons.