Bravissimo (1799) by Francisco Goya

Bravissimo - Francisco Goya - 1799

Artwork Information

ArtistFrancisco Goya
Dimensions21.5 x 15.5 cm
Art MovementRomanticism

About Bravissimo

The artwork titled “Bravissimo” is a piece by the distinguished Spanish artist Francisco Goya, crafted in the year 1799. This artwork is an etching and aquatint on paper with dimensions measuring approximately 21.5 cm by 15.5 cm. It falls under the genre of caricature and is a part of Goya’s famed series “Los caprichos,” which is associated with the Romanticism art movement.

“Bravissimo,” an etching by Francisco Goya, presents a satirical and imaginative scene featuring anthropomorphic figures. The foreground is dominantly occupied by a donkey seated on its hindquarters, appearing regal and poised, with two figures — human or human-like creatures — attentively whispering into its ears, seemingly in a gesture of flattery or conspiracy. Opposite the donkey is a monkey seated on a short stool, earnestly playing a guitar. The monkey is dressed in a simple outfit that mimics human clothing, further blurring the line between animal and human behaviors.

The entire composition is marked by a play of light and shadow that creates a sense of depth and volume. The etching technique allows for rich textures, particularly in conveying the fur of the animals and the subtle nuances in the expressions of both the monkey and the characters interacting with the donkey. The scene is suffused with a sense of irony and a critical eye towards societal behaviors, as is characteristic of Goya’s works in “Los caprichos.” The title “Bravissimo” suggests a sarcasm inherent in the piece, providing a commentary on the absurdity of false praise and sycophantic tendencies that Goya observed in the society around him.

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