I said El Greco was probably my favorite but if it is not him it is probably Francisco Goya. The guy was prolific in both the amount he did and in subject matter, technically speaking very talented in capturing reality, and all around a crazy motherfucker I must say.
The guy was a royal painter "early" in his career, he was 40. Surprisingly he was very popular among the royals and nobility but he did not produce the most flattering works of them. As you see in the family of Carlos IV the bulky flabby upper arms of Maria Luisa. The link below is for reference of how other painters of the time captured their essence.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maria_Luisa_of_Parma
I'm not sure if he just had a disdain for the decadent nobility at the time, maybe he was uncompromising in his efforts to capture reality.
The woman with her face turned was to be filled in at a later date when the man who became Ferdinand VII was married but no one ever painted any of his four wives in.
This painting is fuck huge but I can't find any detailed photographs. The brushwork on the medals of Carlos IV is pretty crazy.
This painting of Hannibal is from roughly the same time period and I hadn't seen it until I started looking for stuff for this thread and I own a book of his paintings. I rather like it at a glance I must say. It is his first documenated painting apparently.
It was submitted for a "competition organised by the Fine Arts Academy in Parma in 1771" and he got an honorable mention for it.
I suppose one of main attractions to his art in particular is after his flirtations with society he took on an almost journalistic scope as an artist. His series' of etchings, Los Caprichos, The Disasters of War, La Tauromaquia, and Los Disparates serve both as a commentary on the times of unrest during and after France's occupation of Spain and record the, as the name would suggest, disasters of war. The records of bullfights in 1800s Spain he provides are very interesting and show the unique spectacle that is bullfighting and how entertaining it must be. I get they still do it in Spain and in Mexico but it is very tightly run and almost ritualistic in how they do it now a days while back then it seemed more like the bull fighter's personal pride was at stake to risk life and limb to put asses in seats.
The latter series of etchings, Los Disparates seems a transition to the later period of his life where he starts to go crazy. They are surreal, bizarre, unsettling. Later in his life, he lives in seclusion and paints his black paintings on the walls of a home he purchased in Madrid. These paintings seem to flesh out to me some of what he was trying to convey in his more bizarre etchings.