She leaves him penniless (1799) by Francisco Goya

She leaves him penniless - Francisco Goya - 1799

Artwork Information

TitleShe leaves him penniless
ArtistFrancisco Goya
Dimensions21.9 x 15.7 cm
Art MovementRomanticism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About She leaves him penniless

The artwork “She leaves him penniless” is an etching on paper by the renowned Spanish artist Francisco Goya, which dates back to 1799. This piece is part of the “Los caprichos” series and falls under the Romanticism art movement. The genre of this etching is caricature, and it measures 21.9 x 15.7 cm. While presently held in a private collection, this etching is a testament to Goya’s critical eye and satirical approach to societal issues of his time.

In the artwork, the scene depicted is rich in narrative and moral commentary. At the center, a man appears to be utterly inebriated, slumped over in his chair with his head resting on the table, seemingly oblivious to his surroundings. Standing behind him are two women, one of whom is carefully removing coins or some other small items from the man’s pocket, suggesting an act of theft. Both women appear complicit in this act, with expressions that convey deceit and opportunism. The setting is minimalistic, drawing the viewer’s attention to the characters and their actions.

The dynamics and expressions present in the artwork convey a cautionary tale about vice, particularly the ease with which an irresponsible or imprudent man can be exploited. The caricature style amplifies the moralistic undertones of the piece, employing exaggeration to highlight the flaws and folly portrayed. Goya’s work often explored themes of human nature, societal decay, and the darker aspects of the human psyche, with “She leaves him penniless” serving as a classic example of his critical perspective.

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