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Caprichos, Before 1799

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes
Spanish, 1746-1828
Etching, burnished aquatint, drypoint, and burin on laid paper; with letters and numbers
all sheets: 12 x 7 3/4 in. (30.48 x 19.685 cm); book: 1 x 8 1/4 x 12 1/8 in. (2.54 x 20.955 cm)
The Norton Simon Foundation

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"Los Caprichos" was Goya's first important series of prints. These satirical caricatures boldly attack the attitudes, morals, and behaviors of the church, the Inquisition, the government, and the royal family, though Goya himself referred to them as merely "a collection of whimsical subjects." The series sold poorly and Goya was forced to remove them from the market after only two days. Ironically, the plates and remaining prints were given to the king in 1803 in exchange for a pension for Goya's son.

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