Francisco Goya

Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes was a Spanish romantic painter and printmaker. He is considered the most important Spanish artist of the late 18th and early 19th centuries and throughout his long career was a commentator and chronicler of his era. Immensely successful in his lifetime, Goya is referred to as both the last of the Old Masters and the first of the moderns, he was one of the great portraitists of his time. Goya was born in Fuendetodos in Aragon, he studied painting from age 14 under José Luzán y Martinez and moved to Madrid to study with Anton Raphael Mengs. He married Josefa Bayeu in 1773. Goya became a court painter to the Spanish Crown in 1786 and this early portion of his career is marked by portraits of the Spanish aristocracy and royalty, Rococo style tapestry cartoons designed for the royal palace, he was guarded, although letters and writings survive, little is known about his thoughts. He suffered a severe and undiagnosed illness in 1793 which left him deaf, after which his work became progressively darker and pessimistic.

His easel and mural paintings and drawings appear to reflect a bleak outlook on personal and political levels, contrast with his social climbing. He was appointed Director of the Royal Academy in 1795, the year Manuel Godoy made an unfavorable treaty with France. In 1799 Goya became Primer Pintor de Cámara, the highest rank for a Spanish court painter. In the late 1790s, commissioned by Godoy, he completed his La maja desnuda, a remarkably daring nude for the time and indebted to Diego Velázquez. In 1801 he painted Charles IV of Spain and His Family influenced by Velázquez. In 1807 Napoleon led the French army into the Peninsular War against Spain. Goya remained in Madrid during the war. Although he did not vocalise his thoughts in public, they can be inferred from his Disasters of War series of prints and his 1814 paintings The Second of May 1808 and The Third of May 1808. Other works from his mid-period include the Caprichos and Los Disparates etching series, a wide variety of paintings concerned with insanity, mental asylums, fantastical creatures and religious and political corruption, all of which suggest that he feared for both his country's fate and his own mental and physical health.

His late period culminates with the Black Paintings of 1819–1823, applied on oil on the plaster walls of his house the Quinta del Sordo where, disillusioned by political and social developments in Spain he lived in near isolation. Goya abandoned Spain in 1824 to retire to the French city of Bordeaux, accompanied by his much younger maid and companion, Leocadia Weiss, who may or may not have been his lover. There he completed his La Tauromaquia series and a number of other, canvases. Following a stroke which left him paralyzed on his right side, suffering failing eyesight and poor access to painting materials, he died and was buried on 16 April 1828 aged 82, his body was re-interred in the Real Ermita de San Antonio de la Florida in Madrid. Famously, the skull was missing, a detail the Spanish consul communicated to his superiors in Madrid, who wired back, "Send Goya, with or without head." Francisco Goya was born in Fuendetodos, Aragón, Spain, on 30 March 1746 to José Benito de Goya y Franque and Gracia de Lucientes y Salvador.

The family had moved that year from the city of Zaragoza. They were lower middle-class. José was the son of a notary and of Basque origin, his ancestors being from Zerain, earning his living as a gilder, specialising in religious and decorative craftwork, he oversaw the gilding and most of the ornamentation during the rebuilding of the Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar, the principal cathedral of Zaragoza. Francisco was their fourth child, following his sister Rita, brother Tomás and second sister Jacinta. There were two younger sons and Camilo, his mother's family had pretensions of nobility and the house, a modest brick cottage, was owned by her family and fancifully, bore their crest. About 1749 José and Gracia were able to return to live in the city. Although there are no surviving records, it is thought that Goya may have attended the Escuelas Pías de San Antón, which offered free schooling, his education seems to have been adequate but not enlightening. According to Robert Hughes the artist "seems to have taken no more interest than a carpenter in philosophical or theological matters, his views on painting... were down to earth: Goya was no theoretician."

At school he formed a lifelong friendship with fellow pupil Martín Zapater. At age 14 Goya studied under the painter José Luzán, where he copied stamps for 4 years until he decided to work on his own, as he wrote on "paint from my invention", he moved to Madrid to study with a popular painter with Spanish royalty. He clashed with his master, his examinations were unsatisfactory. Goya submitted entries for the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in 1763 and 1766, but was denied entrance. Rom

Sempronius Densus

Sempronius Densus was a centurion in the Praetorian Guard in the 1st century. He was bodyguard to the deputy emperor, is remembered by history for his courage and loyalty in singlehandedly defending his charge from scores of armed assassins, while all his comrades deserted or switched sides. On January 10, 69, the emperor Galba chose a man to become his heir. One of Galba's advisors had led Marcus Otho to expect to be appointed to this office, but instead Galba chose one Piso Licinianus; this unexpected choice led Otho to conspire to seize power. On January 15 Otho struck. Galba and Piso were being carried on litters through the street when they were accosted by a large company of renegade Praetorians in Otho's employ; the Praetorians were supposed to be the personal bodyguard of the emperor, but now they intended his death. Of all the soldiers present, only Sempronius Densus stood firm, while his colleagues either joined in the murder or melted away. While Piso fled to seek a safe hiding place, Sempronius bought him time to escape, first remonstrating with the assassins and fighting them to the death.

At this point sources differ slightly. According to Plutarch, Sempronius gave his life defending both Galba and Piso: After Sempronius fell, the assassins surrounded Galba and killed him. Tacitus however describes Galba's death as occurring first in the order of events, followed by the centurion's last stand, in which Sempronius uses a pugio. Dio Cassius relates: However, all of the sources agree on what happened next. While most of the assassins hacked Galba's corpse to pieces and paraded his severed head on a pole, two of them sought out Piso, who had taken refuge in the Temple of Vesta, they killed him at the door. Around 120 people claimed credit for killing Galba and Piso, hoping that Otho would reward them. However, in April that year Otho was deposed by Vitellius. Vitellius ordered them all executed, he disbanded the Praetorian Guard. Although unsuccessful, Sempronius Densus's last stand is recorded by historians as being the only heroic act done in Rome that day. Year of the Four Emperors

Mandroid (film)

Mandroid is a 1993 film directed by Jack Ersgard starring Robert Symonds and Curt Lowens. In his hidden laboratory deep in Russia, Dr. Karl Zimmer has invented the Mandroid, a humanoid robot which follows the motions of a man in a special control suit, he has offered the invention to the United States, which has sent Agent Joe Smith and Dr. Wade from the CIA for inspection; however Zimmer's partner Drago has different plans, wants to sell Mandroid to the military. The night he tries to steal Mandroid, he becomes exposed to the toxic Superconn and is disfigured. During the struggle Zimmer's assistant Ben Knight becomes exposed however he begins to turn invisible. Drago enslaves a homeless mute and fixes his face, but the mute has to make him a metal mask. Using the Mandroid, Drago kidnaps Smith. Drago demands. Zimmer and Wade retrieve the Superconn. Meanwhile Smith is revealed to be in cahoots with Drago; the chief of police arrives at the trade with a squad of police officers. Through Mandroid, Drago reveals Smith's duplicity and fatally shoots Zimmer shoots Smith.

As Zana mourns her father, the rest of them go after the Mandroid. Mandroid kills all of the police. Smith dies from his injuries. Wade destroys the Mandroid. Drago shoots. Wade causes the building to collapse on him. Wade and Zana start a relationship. Drago is revealed to be alive. Brian Cousins - Wade Jane Caldwell - Zanna Michael Della Femina - Benjamin Robert Symonds - Karl Zimmer Curt Lowens - Drago Patrik Ersgård - Joe Ion Haiduc - The Mute Mircea Albulescu - Doctor Costel Constantin - Chief of Police Adrian Pintea - Killer Radu Minculescu - Policeman Jake McKinnon - Mandroid The project was to be called "Mindmaster"; some early concept art was done by Jack Kirby. A sequel, entitled Invisible: The Chronicles of Benjamin Knight followed the same year. Mandroid on IMDb Mandroid at Rotten Tomatoes Review of the movie at