Squealers? (1799) by Francisco Goya

Squealers? - Francisco Goya - 1799

Artwork Information

ArtistFrancisco Goya
Dimensions21.5 x 15.5 cm
Art MovementRomanticism

About Squealers?

The artwork in question is a piece by Francisco Goya, titled “Squealers?” (“Soplones” in Spanish), dating back to 1799. This etching and aquatint on paper is a part of his renowned series “Los Caprichos”. The artwork is created within the Romanticism movement and falls under the genre of caricature. It measures 21.5 x 15.5 cm, and like other works in the series, it serves as a satirical critique of the society and times in which Goya lived.

In the artwork, a shadowy and ominous scene is depicted involving menacing creatures with bat-like wings, assaulting or imposing upon a cluster of terrified humans. At the center, a figure is prostrate, seemingly overwhelmed or possibly victimized by the winged entities that hover above. The atmosphere is foreboding, and the piece communicates a sense of dread or accusatory tension, which aligns with the theme of “squealers” or informants, as the title may allude to the paranoia and fear instilled by an environment where individuals could be reported or betrayed by their peers. Goya’s masterful use of dark tones and the essence of movement in the creatures’ wings evoke a palpable sense of despair and chaos, demonstrating his skill in conveying complex human emotions and social critiques through his art.

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