Francisco was born to a poor family in rural Spain. Francisco's father, Jose, was the son of a notary. A notary had a little education and could provide the simplest of legal services, somewhat a country lawyer. Francisco's mother was of the hidalgo class, the most minor of nobility, they were financially handicapped by a prohibition against doing useful work, having a trade or a craft.
Goya is considered to straddle the line between the Old Masters and the modern painters. His work was both the product and the instrument of change in the political and social consciousness of Western Europe.