The Spanish painter Fransisco de Goya lived from 1746-1828 and painted dark subject material unlike anyone else until well into the 20th century.
The interesting thing is that he was a court painter.In the 1770s he became noticed through his frescos for Cathedrals and designs for tapestries in the royal tapestry factory in Madrid. He soon became established as a portrait painter to the Spanish aristocracy, was elected to the Royal Academy of San Fernando in 1780, named painter to the king in 1786, and made a court painter in 1789.
“A serious illness in 1792 left Goya permanently deaf. Isolated from others by his deafness, he became increasingly occupied with the fantasies and inventions of his imagination and with critical and satirical observations of mankind. He evolved a bold, free new style close to caricature. His portraits became penetrating characterizations, revealing their subjects as Goya saw them. In his religious frescoes he employed a broad, free style and an earthy realism unprecedented in religious art.”
The violence in Europe surrounding him inspired him to a darker view of humanity. The French Revolution had given way to horrible violence and atrocity, which was followed by the rise of Napolean and his invasion of Spain. After this Spain fell into civil war, and of this upheaval was bloody and chaotic.
During the French occupation he painted court paintings for the French, and later, after the Spanish Civil War when the Spanish monarchy was restored, this caused some problems. He was officially pardoned, but the new king wanted no part of him and he was brought before the Inquisition because he had painted a naked woman, something not done in Spain at that time.
De Goya lived in seclusion from then on and his paintings went even darker and more fantastic.
In 1824, after the failure of an attempt to restore liberal government, Goya went into voluntary exile in France. He settled in Bordeaux, continuing to work until his death there on April 16, 1828.