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15 February 2008


Peter Harvey

With obvious and important exceptions on both sides Britain has tended to produce authors, while Spanish culture has tended to the visual arts. Maybe the climate is responsible.

Goya is an interesting case. He was one of the ilustrados, who supported the progressive ideals of the French Revolution but was appalled by the reality of what happened after the occupation (he lived in Madrid all through it) and moreover by the repression that followed the restoration of the conservative Fernando VII (Britain's objective in the Peninsular War, along with encouraging bits of Spain to secede) and the consequent failure to implement the liberal Constitution of 1812.

That conflict between 'the two Spains' was not to be settled until 1978. Some say that it still exists.

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