They spruce themselves up (1799) by Francisco Goya

They spruce themselves up - Francisco Goya - 1799

Artwork Information

TitleThey spruce themselves up
ArtistFrancisco Goya
Dimensions21.5 x 15.5 cm
Art MovementRomanticism

About They spruce themselves up

The artwork titled “They spruce themselves up” is a creation by Francisco Goya, dating back to the year 1799. This piece is executed in aquatic and etching on paper and is a part of the “Los Caprichos” series, which is known for its critical and caricaturistic interpretation of society. Dimensionally, the artwork measures 21.5 cm by 15.5 cm. It resides within the Romanticism movement, known for its emphasis on emotion and individualism, as well as the sublime.

This particular artwork demonstrates Goya’s penchant for dark satire and societal critique. The scene depicts grotesque figures engaged in the act of grooming or “sprucing up”. The caricature nature of this piece suggests a commentary on vanity or perhaps a distorted view of self-perception within society. The figures appear almost monstrous, serving as a stark contrast to the typical subjects of portraiture associated with beautification and refinement practices of the time. The use of shadow and light in this etching enhances the eerie and otherworldly nature of the subjects, intertwining a sense of the real with the surreal, which is a characteristic approach in many of Goya’s works within “Los Caprichos”.

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