Neither more nor less (1799) by Francisco Goya

Neither more nor less - Francisco Goya - 1799

Artwork Information

TitleNeither more nor less
ArtistFrancisco Goya
Dimensions21.9 x 15.2 cm
Art MovementRomanticism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Neither more nor less

The artwork titled “Neither more nor less” is a creation of the artist Francisco Goya, dating back to 1799 and is part of the “Los caprichos” series. Goya executed this piece using the mediums of drypoint, etching, and paper. It showcases the Romanticism art movement, characteristic of the era, and serves as a caricature within the genre. The dimensions of the piece measure 21.9 cm in height and 15.2 cm in width. It presently resides in a private collection.

In the artwork, we observe a scene consisting of two anthropomorphized animals engaged in a peculiar activity. On the left stands a donkey, upright and contemplative, posing as if it were the subject of a portrait sitting. To the right, an ape, equipped with the tools and attire of an artist, seems to be painting or perhaps grooming the donkey. The composition invokes a sense of absurdity and irony, as the ape employs brushes and a palette in a mimicry of human behavior, critiquing society’s pretensions or perhaps the futility of attempting to disguise or elevate one’s true nature. The background is relatively dark and obscure, drawing focus towards the figures and their interaction, a significant aspect of the caricature genre. Goya’s work often reflected his critical view of social norms, and this work is no exception, serving as a satirical commentary on the society of his time.

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