They spin finely (1799) by Francisco Goya

They spin finely - Francisco Goya - 1799

Artwork Information

TitleThey spin finely
ArtistFrancisco Goya
Dimensions21.9 x 15.2 cm
Art MovementRomanticism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About They spin finely

The artwork titled “They spin finely” is a notable creation by Francisco Goya, dated 1799. It is crafted through the mediums of aquatint, drypoint, etching, and paper, measuring 21.9 x 15.2 cm. As a piece influenced by the Romanticism movement, this work belongs to the genre of caricature and is part of the celebrated “Los caprichos” series. The original creation is currently held in a private collection.

The artwork depicts a scene featuring three figures engaged in an activity. The central figure, an older woman, holds a spindle, sardonically alluding to the act of spinning finely. Her exaggerated features and hollowed eyes convey a sense of caricature typical of Goya’s social critiques within “Los caprichos”. To her right, a figure peers intently at the work in her hands, assuming a stance of scrutiny. A third figure, less discernibly detailed, lurks in the shadows behind them. The background bears a faint suggestion of festivity or a social gathering, implied by the balloons and figures—a stark contrast to the somber tone of the protagonists. The Spanish inscription below the scene, “Hilan delgado,” reinforces the theme of delicate or deceptive spinning, potentially metaphorical for the construction of lies or illusions. Overall, the composition reflects Goya’s satirical lens on society, with a focus on human folly and deceit.

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