There is a lot to suck (1799) by Francisco Goya

There is a lot to suck - Francisco Goya - 1799

Artwork Information

TitleThere is a lot to suck
ArtistFrancisco Goya
Dimensions21.5 x 15.5 cm
Art MovementRomanticism

About There is a lot to suck

The artwork in question is a notable piece created by Francisco Goya in 1799, titled “There is a lot to suck.” This work is part of the “Los Caprichos” series and reflects the Romanticism movement of its time. It was crafted using the mediums of aquatint and etching on paper, and measures 21.5 by 15.5 centimeters. The genre of the artwork falls within caricature, portraying a satirical and likely critical commentary on the subject it represents.

The artwork portrays a grotesque scene featuring three main figures of fantastical and eerie appearance. They are situated in a dark and unsettling environment which adds to the ominous tone of the piece. The central figure, whose face resembles that of a withered old man, is leaning forward and appears to be sucking on one of several small, helpless figures that lie in a basket before him. The small figures seem to represent infants or children, suggesting a vampiric or parasitic interaction.

Flanking the central figure are two other entities, one of which is whispering or perhaps hissing into the central figure’s ear, while the other looks on with a ghastly grin, showcasing exaggerated features and an expression of malevolent amusement. Their presence suggests conspiracy or encouragement in the disturbing act being depicted.

In the upper part of the artwork, there are shadowy forms that have the semblance of bat wings, further contributing to the nightmarish atmosphere of the scene. This detail reinforces themes of darkness and predation.

The bottom of the artwork includes a caption, “Mucho hay que chupar,” which translates to “There is a lot to suck,” echoing the title and possibly serving as a dark commentary by the artist on the nature of the depicted action or on a larger metaphorical context.

The overall composition, with its sharp contrasts and dramatic use of light and shadow, is typical of Goya’s style during this period. The etching is a social commentary, likely criticizing certain aspects of society, power structures, or human behavior through metaphor and dark humor, characteristic of Goya’s Caprichos series. The fact that it is a caricature suggests a critical edge, aimed at provoking thought on the part of the viewer about the themes it implicitly addresses.

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