Those Specks of Dust (1799) by Francisco Goya

Those Specks of Dust - Francisco Goya - 1799

Artwork Information

TitleThose Specks of Dust
ArtistFrancisco Goya
Dimensions21.5 x 15.5 cm
Art MovementRomanticism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Those Specks of Dust

The artwork in question, “Those Specks of Dust,” is a distinguished piece crafted by the renowned artist Francisco Goya in 1799. This work is rendered in the mediums of aquatint and etching on paper and falls under the Romanticism art movement. It is a part of the satirical series “Los caprichos” and presents itself as a caricature within the genre. The dimensions of the piece are modest, measuring 21.5 cm by 15.5 cm. Currently, it resides within a private collection, indicating its exclusivity and value to individual collectors.

In the artwork, a figure in elaborate attire dominates the foreground. The central character appears to be wearing a pointed hat or a headdress that is disproportionately tall and ornate, extending upward beyond the normal proportions one would expect. The attire suggests a convergence of grandiosity and ridicule, as is typical for caricatures exploring themes of folly or vanity. A book or music score is being observed by the figure, implying engagement in some intellectual or artistic pursuit. The contrasts of light and shadow cast by the aquatint technique enhance the drama and textural qualities of the scene.

In the background, several faces are either partially obscured or in shadow, suggesting an audience or perhaps other characters involved in this enigmatic scene. As with many of Goya’s works in “Los caprichos,” there is an underlying commentary on society, and the expressions of these characters might reveal skepticism or judgment. The handwritten inscription at the bottom might provide context or a title to the scene, invoking further contemplation on the part of the viewer.

Overall, the artwork captures the essence of Romanticism with its emphasis on individual expression, social critique, and emotional intensity, while also embodying the unique characteristics of Goya’s critical eye on the society of his time.

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