As Far back as his Grandfather (1799) by Francisco Goya

As Far back as his Grandfather - Francisco Goya - 1799

Artwork Information

TitleAs Far back as his Grandfather
ArtistFrancisco Goya
Dimensions21.8 x 15.4 cm
Art MovementRomanticism
Current LocationKunsthalle Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany

About As Far back as his Grandfather

The artwork titled “As Far back as his Grandfather” was created by the Spanish artist Francisco Goya in 1799. This caricature is executed in aquatint on paper and is part of the series “Los Caprichos.” The piece measures 21.8 cm by 15.4 cm and reflects the Romanticism movement. Currently, the artwork is housed in the Kunsthalle Hamburg, located in Hamburg, Germany.

The artwork presents a satirical scene where the central figure, a donkey, is dressed in what appears to be academic or clerical attire, engaging in an activity that is decidedly human—reading from a musical score at a lectern. The donkey’s head is turned towards the viewer, offering a direct gaze that suggests a sense of seriousness or perhaps a semblance of intellectual pursuit. The anthropomorphic portrayal of the animal, commonly used by Goya to critique societal conditions and human folly, is emphasized through its juxtaposition with the human endeavor of learning or performing music.

The execution of the aquatint technique has allowed for variations in tone and shadow, lending texture and depth to the composition, while also highlighting the absurdity of the scene. This particular work, like others in “Los Caprichos,” employs humor and caricature to make a broader comment, likely on the nature of hereditary privilege, the pretensions of unqualified individuals in positions of authority, or the folly of blind adherence to tradition. The caption “AsĂ­ su abuelo” reinforces this interpretation, suggesting a lineage or inheritance of behavior or station that is both unearned and unwarranted.

Overall, Goya’s artwork weaves together humor and critical social commentary, using the medium of aquatint to deliver a visually striking and thought-provoking piece that transcends its historical context to offer insights into human nature.

Other Artwork from Francisco Goya

More Romanticism Artwork

Scroll to Top