To the Count Palatine (1799) by Francisco Goya

To the Count Palatine - Francisco Goya - 1799

Artwork Information

TitleTo the Count Palatine
ArtistFrancisco Goya
Dimensions21.7 x 15.2 cm
Art MovementRomanticism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About To the Count Palatine

The artwork “To the Count Palatine” is a piece created by the renowned artist Francisco Goya in 1799. This artwork is a part of the “Los caprichos” series, an exemplary set that delves into the vicissitudes of social customs and critiques moral decay. Goya utilized a combination of aquatint, drypoint, and etching on paper to bring this caricature to life, a medium that allows for rich textures and dramatic contrasts. The piece measures 21.7 x 15.2 cm and is a manifestation of the Romanticism art movement. It is presently held within a private collection.

The artwork depicts a scene of satire with a central figure who appears to hold the title of “Count Palatine” receiving attention from two subservient individuals. The count is portrayed with an air of self-importance, nonchalantly holding a document or letter in one hand, suggesting a possible correlation to political or social power. He is attired in fashion that bespeaks of his status, with garments that are elaborated and ostentatious.

The two figures attending to him seem to be in the act of dressing or serving him, indicative of their respective social positions. Their dynamic action implies a servility and highlights the disparity between social classes—a theme commonly explored by Goya in his work. The contrast in the expressions and posture of the characters, with the central figure’s air of haughtiness against the bowing forms of his attendants, evokes a striking commentary on social stratification and the arrogance of the nobility. This artwork, steeped in Goya’s quintessential critical perspective, conveys a multifaceted interpretation of the societal norms and characters of his time.

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