The lineage (1799) by Francisco Goya

The lineage - Francisco Goya - 1799

Artwork Information

TitleThe lineage
ArtistFrancisco Goya
Dimensions21.5 x 15.5 cm
Art MovementRomanticism
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About The lineage

“The Lineage” is an etching and aquatint on paper by Francisco Goya, created in 1799, as part of the “Los Caprichos” series. It embodies the Romanticism art movement and possesses the dimensions of 21.5 x 15.5 cm. The artwork serves as a caricature, reflecting the satirical and critical style for which the series is renowned.

The artwork depicts a group of figures huddled together in a dimly lit space to create an intimate yet tense scene. The central figure appears to be a young woman, who is illuminated by the surrounding darkness and is being dressed or inspected by another figure. Surrounding them are several characters whose faces are marked by exaggeration and grotesqueness, in accordance with the caricature genre. This dramatization of features is common in Goya’s “Los Caprichos,” where he frequently employed satirical elements to critique the society of his time.

One figure on the left side stands out due to what seems to be a pair of pince-nez or glasses, directing a scrutinizing gaze at the young woman. Behind the young woman, two figures loom – one with an overly enlarged and darkly shaded form, wearing what appears to be a clerical or ecclesiastical hat, featuring a double loop on top, which suggests a hierarchical or authoritative position within the scene. The expressions and interactions suggest a narrative of judgment or investigation into the young woman’s character or background, quite possibly a comment on societal structures and norms of Goya’s era.

The presence of the text “La filiación” further supports the interpretation of a narrative focused on lineage or heritage, hinting at themes of genealogy and the importance of bloodlines in the social fabric of the time. Overall, the artwork is a testament to Goya’s critical exploration of societal values and his skillful use of visual art to convey complex messages and criticisms.

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