Look how solemn they are (1799) by Francisco Goya

Look how solemn they are - Francisco Goya - 1799

Artwork Information

TitleLook how solemn they are
ArtistFrancisco Goya
Dimensions21.9 x 15.2 cm
Art MovementRomanticism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Look how solemn they are

The artwork titled “Look how solemn they are” was created by Francisco Goya in 1799 as part of his ‘Los Caprichos’ series, which is a crucial example of Romanticism. The medium of the piece is aquatint, drypoint, and etching on paper, and it features the dimensions of 21.9 cm by 15.2 cm. This work is categorized under the genre of caricature and is currently held in a private collection.

The artwork showcases a scene dominated by what appears to be anthropomorphized donkeys enacting a parody of human solemnity, a trait which the artist Francisco Goya frequently mocks in his Caprichos series. These anthropomorphic figures are draped in what resembles traditional scholarly or religious attire, suggesting a critique of the pretension and hypocrisy in academic or ecclesiastical institutions. The front figure forcibly closes the mouth of a complacent creature, perhaps a metaphor for the suppression of speech or criticism. The etching is intricately detailed, revealing Goya’s skill in rendering textures and expressions, and the use of light and shadow contributes to a sense of depth and volume in the composition. The caption at the bottom, although not legible in the artwork description provided, typically offers a satirical comment that further elucidates Goya’s critical perspective.

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