About This Artwork

Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes
Spanish, 1746-1828

Bravo!, plate 38 from Los Caprichos, 1797/99

Etching and aquatint on ivory laid paper
185 x 130 mm (image); 216 x 151 mm (plate); 301 x 208 mm (sheet)

Clarence Buckingham Collection, 1948.110.38

Francisco de Goya wrote acidic commentary to accompany each print in his series The Caprices. For Bravo! he noted, “If ears were all that were needed to appreciate it, no one could listen more intelligently.” Some critical readings of this work interpret it as a commentary on Manuel de Godoy’s parties thrown for King Charles IV. Godoy came to Charles’s palace in Madrid as a musician and left it as prime minister; his meteoric rise is often attributed to a liaison with Queen Maria Louisa. Bravo! suggests the king was oblivious to this relationship to the point of not recognizing what was in front of him.

Interpretive Resources

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