Poor little girls! (1799) by Francisco Goya

Poor little girls! - Francisco Goya - 1799

Artwork Information

TitlePoor little girls!
ArtistFrancisco Goya
Dimensions21.8 x 15.3 cm
Art MovementRomanticism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Poor little girls!

“Poor little girls!” is an etching on paper created by Francisco Goya in 1799. This artwork is part of the series “Los caprichos” and is attributed to the Romanticism movement. The dimensions of the piece are 21.8 x 15.3 cm, and it is of the caricature genre. The etching currently resides within a private collection.

The artwork depicts three figures shrouded in darkness, with a strong contrast between light and shadow that emphasizes the expressions and attitudes of the subjects. The central figure appears to be wrapped in a voluminous garment that engulfs her form, creating a sense of both presence and absence due to the obscured details. Her head is turned away, suggesting a moment of disregard or introspection. The two figures flanking her are less detailed yet contribute to the narrative through their posture and proximity—their identities and intentions obscured, which is characteristic of Goya’s often enigmatic treatment of his subjects.

The stark tonal contrasts and the loose, sketch-like quality of the etching illustrate Goya’s mastery of the medium and his ability to convey complex social and emotional commentary through his art. As part of “Los caprichos,” this work likely serves as a critical reflection of the society in which Goya lived, exploring themes of human folly or societal paradoxes through visual satire. The work’s title further hints at a narrative that invites contemplation on the plight or the circumstances of the figures depicted, albeit within the confines of Goya’s enigmatic visual language.

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