Will the student be wiser? (1799) by Francisco Goya

Will the student be wiser? - Francisco Goya - 1799

Artwork Information

TitleWill the student be wiser?
ArtistFrancisco Goya
Dimensions21.5 x 15.5 cm
Art MovementRomanticism

About Will the student be wiser?

The artwork titled “Will the student be wiser?” is a creation by the esteemed artist Francisco Goya, crafted in the year 1799. This piece is produced using the mediums of aquatint and etching on paper and is classified within the genre of caricature. It is part of the celebrated series “Los Caprichos” and embodies the Romanticism art movement. The dimensions of this work measure 21.5 x 15.5 cm.

The composition portrays a donkey, anthropomorphically garbed in a hat, kerchief, and what appears to be a jacket, posing as a teacher or scholar engaged in an educational endeavor. The donkey sits on a rock or similar structure holding a pointer in its hoof, seeming to instruct or oversee a younger donkey, which is depicted investing its attention in a drawing of a geometrical figure, potentially a lesson on geometry or similar scholarly pursuit.

Beneath the central figures, there is text that reads “¿Si sabrá más el discípulo?,” which translates to “Will the student be wiser?” This caption possibly presents a satirical inquiry into the nature of education or the capability of a pupil to surpass the knowledge of a less capable or absurd instructor, highlighted by the ironic use of donkeys, which traditionally symbolize ignorance or stubbornness.

Overall, the artwork communicates a sense of irony or criticism towards possibly the education system, the transmission of knowledge, or perhaps the societal or intellectual hierarchy of the time. It aligns with Goya’s penchant for social commentary, employing dark humor and satire that are characteristic of his work within “Los Caprichos.”

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