Francisco Goya El Amor y La Muette Limited Edition Etching-Aquatint
Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (March 30, 1746 — April 16, 1828) was an Aragonese Spanish painter and printmaker. Goya was a court painter to the Spanish Crown and a chronicler of history. He has been regarded both as the last of the Old Masters and as the first of the moderns. The subversive and subjective element in his art, as well as his bold handling of paint, provided a model for the work of later generations of artists, notably Manet and Picasso.
The engraved images that make up Goya’s most important series of prints, Los Caprichos (1799), have long been recognized as one of the supreme monuments of European art. Goya, royal painter to the kings of Spain during the late eighteenth-early nineteenth centuries, eventually died in exile, both of his major print series having been “donated” to the crown to protect him from the Inquisition. A believer in the potential power of reason, his works show what happens when reason is trampled underfoot by individual human follies and corrupt social customs. In these works Goya looks at his country and memorializes it as a monument to desperation, folly, arrogance, incompetence, and the need that some of his subjects have to try to control the uncontrollable.
Los Caprichos are a set of 80 aquatint prints created by the Spanish artist Francisco Goya in 1797 and 1798, and published as an album in 1799. The prints were an artistic experiment: a medium for Goya’s condemnation of the universal follies and foolishness in the Spanish society in which he lived. The criticisms are far-ranging and acidic; he speaks against the predominance of superstition, the ignorance and inabilities of the various members of the ruling class, pedagogical short-comings, marital mistakes, and the decline of rationality. Some of the prints have anticlerical themes. Goya described the series as depicting “the innumerable foibles and follies to be found in any civilized society, and from the common prejudices and deceitful practices which custom, ignorance, or self-interest have made usual”.
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 Caprichos, makes them – and Goya himself – a precursor to the modernist movement almost a century later. The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters in particular has attained an iconic status.
Goya added brief explanations of each image to a manuscript now in the Prado; these help greatly to explain his often cryptic intentions, as do the titles printed below each image.
Goya’s series, and the last group of prints in his series The Disasters of War, which he called “caprichos enfáticos” (“emphatic caprices”) are far from the spirit of light-hearted fantasy the term caprice usually suggests in art.
Los Caprichos were withdrawn from public sale very shortly after their release in 1799. In 1803 Goya offered the Caprichos’ copper plates and the first edition’s unsold sets to King Carlos IV. Later in life Goya wrote that he had felt it prudent to withdraw the prints from circulation due to the Inquisition.
Here we are offering fine quality Etching-Aquatint of “LES CAPRICES” produced in a small Limited Edition of 412 sets, printed on quality paper and executed with the supervision of de La Bibliotheque Nationale, Madrid on “Arches” watermarked Laid paper.
Each Engraved work measure 5.5 by 7.5 inches, plus lettering. Sheet measures 13 by 9 inches in great condition. See enclosed image of the colophon.
Art (paintings, prints, frames)