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Caprichos: Hobgoblins (Duendecitos)

Caprichos: Hobgoblins (Duendecitos), 1799

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes
Spanish, 1746-1828
Etching, burnished aquatint, drypoint, and burin with watercolor additions on laid paper
plate: 21.5 x 15 cm. (8 7/16 x 5 7/8 in); sheet: 28.8 x 20.5 cm. (11 5/16 x 8 1/16 in)
The Norton Simon Foundation
© The Norton Simon Foundation

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This image is a thinly veiled attack on the corruption and decadence of the Spanish church. In this print, clergy are portrayed as grotesque hobgoblins, or mean-spirited angels who fell from heaven with Lucifer. They are shown gorging themselves on bread and wine. The central figure's sharp, jagged teeth and enormous hand refer to the powerful grip the church had on the country's wealth and its willingness to flaunt it.

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