About This Artwork

Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes
Spanish, 1746-1828

Here Comes the Bogeyman, plate three from Los Caprichos, 1797/99

Etching and aquatint on ivory laid paper
193 x 136 mm (image); 217 x 153 mm (plate); 301 x 205 mm (sheet)

Clarence Buckingham Collection, 1948.110.3

Plate 3 of The Caprices features a mother with her two children who are frightened by a blanketed figure of el coco (the bogeyman) in the foreground. The mother’s expression contrasts with those of her children: she smiles in gratitude and appreciation. Goya is criticizing the common practice of using fear to keep children well behaved. The print also contains a spelling error, as Goya spells viene, the Spanish verb for “to come,” incorrectly. This is a common mistake due to similarity in sounds between the Spanish b and v. He corrected it in later editions of the print.

Interpretive Resources

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