Who could believe it! (1799) by Francisco Goya

Who could believe it! - Francisco Goya - 1799

Artwork Information

TitleWho could believe it!
ArtistFrancisco Goya
Date1799
Mediumaquatint,etching,paper
Dimensions21.5 x 15.5 cm
Art MovementRomanticism
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About Who could believe it!

The artwork titled “Who could believe it!” was created by the renowned Spanish artist Francisco Goya in 1799. This piece is a part of the “Los Caprichos” series and is an exemplary work of the Romanticism movement. Executed through the mediums of aquatint and etching on paper, it measures 21.5 by 15.5 centimeters and falls under the genre of caricature. The series to which this artwork belongs is notable for its satirical and critical undertones, exploring socio-political themes of Goya’s time.

The artwork captures a dynamic and nightmarish scene full of tension and expressiveness, consistent with Goya’s darker thematic interests during this period. It features three figures in a dimly lit and somewhat ambiguous space. The central figure appears to be in distress, her body twisted, with a look of shock or horror on her face. Another figure, situated underneath the central one, is portrayed in a state of weakness or vulnerability. The bottom figure’s exaggerated facial expression and reaching hands convey a sense of despair or desperation. The intense contrast of light and shadow enhances the dramatic effect and emotional intensity of the scene. The caption below, which may translate to expressions of incredulity or a rhetorical question, accentuates the enigmatic and allegorical quality of the work.

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