9781643130163 198


The Terrible Sublime: A Graphic Novel


El Torres (Author), Fran Galán (Artist)

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Celebrated artist Francisco de Goya confronts demons real and imagined in this vivid portrayal of the end of his life.

Francisco de Goya is considered one of the most important Spanish painters of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, last of the Greats and first of the modernists. But his sumptuous images stemmed from a mind in torment, especially later in his life.

Goya: The Terrible Sublime is a graphic novel inspired by Goya’s life, in particular focusing on his final years, as he struggles with assorted physical ailments that threaten to take his mind, as well. Recovering from a serious illness in Cadiz, Spain, which has left him deaf, Goya suffers from terrible headaches, high fevers, and hallucinations, beset by visions of death that will become all too real with the advent of the Spanish War of Independence. Still, the monsters in his delusions are not real—but his friend Asensio Julia is, and he belongs to another world.

From the mind of the terror master El Torres and the art of Fran Galán comes a terrifying story that brings readers into the artist’s world of madness and dark paintings, a historical miasma populated by recognizable figures like Manuel Godoy and the Duchess of Alba and swathed in an aesthetic of cobweb-shrouded palaces and beautiful grotesques living in the shadows. This unique graphic novel tells a horror story, melding the artist’s unique style and vision with the story of a man plagued by unreality. Yet even as the artist faces dreadful images of witchcraft and pure evil, he knows that he must not fall into what lurks beyond the dream of reason.


“Torres and Gala´n use the graphic novel format to their advantage: Torres, as if writing horror, reflects on the people and places that affected Goya’s life and how they fed into the terrifying images he saw. Gala´n keeps the illustrations dark in both palate and style. This title will appeal equally to fans of gothic horror and biographical fiction.” — Booklist

“This graphic novel, like some of Goya’s work, is grotesque and surreal—Fran Galán’s illustrations play off of Goya’s paintings in a sumptuous composition and color palette that offers a Rococo sort of horror singularly appropriate to the subject matter. The story itself is likewise engaging in its ability to unsettle.” — Historical Novels Review