There was no help (1799) by Francisco Goya

There was no help - Francisco Goya - 1799

Artwork Information

TitleThere was no help
ArtistFrancisco Goya
Dimensions21.5 x 15.5 cm
Art MovementRomanticism

About There was no help

The artwork titled “There was no help” is a creation by Francisco Goya, dating back to 1799. This piece is executed with the medium of aquatint and etching on paper, and it measures 21.5 x 15.5 cm in size. It belongs to the Romanticism movement and is categorized under the genre of caricature. Additionally, this particular work is part of Goya’s famous series “Los caprichos.”

In the artwork, the focus is on a centrally placed figure riding a donkey, who appears somber and forlorn. This figure wears an elaborate pointed hat which is often associated with figures of ridicule or shame in Goya’s time, suggesting themes of mockery or punishment. Despite being surrounded by an assembled crowd, there is a palpable sense of isolation about the rider. The faces of the individuals in the crowd are rendered with expressive detail; some appear mocking while others seem indifferent, adding to the sense of desolation surrounding the central figure. The dark tonality of the aquatint brings a brooding atmosphere to the scene. Goya’s technique allows for a range of textures and contrasts, accentuating the somber mood and social commentary that is indicative of “Los caprichos” series. The caption “Mucho remedio” or “There was no help” further enforces the feeling of inevitability and despair being conveyed through the visual narrative. Goya’s work here clearly reflects the satirical and often critical eye with which he viewed the society of his time, a hallmark of the Romantic sensibility.

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