About This Artwork

Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes
Spanish, 1746-1828

Out Hunting for Teeth, plate twelve from Los Caprichos, 1797/99

Etching, burnished aquatint and burin on ivory laid paper
184 x 119 mm (image); 220 x 152 mm (plate); 301 x 207 mm (sheet)

Clarence Buckingham Collection, 1948.110.12

Goya produced his Caprices, a series of 88 prints, between 1797 and 1799. Here, he satirizes love’s ability to drive a person to foolishness. A terrorized young woman stands on her toes on a ledge. With one hand she shields herself with a handkerchief, and with the other she pulls teeth from a hanged corpse, which she will use to cast a love spell. The tonal values achieved by aquatint highlight the lifeless body’s countenance as well as the young woman’s handkerchief. Goya may be referring to a traditional star-crossed romance, La Celestina, in which the tooth-potion goes awry.

Interpretive Resources

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