Francisco Goya Y Lucientes, Pintor, 1799
Now almost deaf, Goya’s work showed greater elements of fantasy and satirical observation. Completed in 1799, the Caprichos etchings analysed humanity’s flaws and provided the stylistic basis for his greatest and darkest work, The Disasters of War, composed during the Peninsular War. Goya later returned to Spain, but soon went into voluntary exile in Bordeaux, working until his death there in 1828.
These etchings were published between 1881-1886 in an edition of 210 by the Calcografia for the Real Academia and are from the fifth edition.
The suite was first published in 1799 and Goya is thought to have sold only 27 copies before withdrawing it from circulation due to the Inquisition. Most of the remaining copies of the edition were alter purchased by King Charles IV of Spain. The work was an enlightened, tour-de-force critique of 18th century Spain, and humanity in general. The informal style as well as the depiction of contemporary society found in the Caprichos, makes them and Goya himself, a precursor to the modernist movement almost a century later.
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