About This Artwork

Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes
Spanish, 1746-1828

Neither more nor less, plate 41 from Los Caprichos, 1797/99

Etching and aquatint on ivory laid paper
180 x 130 mm (image); 198 x 149 mm (plate); 301 x 207 mm (sheet)

Clarence Buckingham Collection, 1948.110.41

During 1797 to 1799, when Francisco de Goya was producing The Caprices, he served as court painter to Charles IV in Madrid. One cannot help but see this aquatint etching as a wry commentary on the main duty of his vocation—turning the oftentimes immoral and ignoble royals into fetching icons of morality and unfettered nobility. Here he compared his august sitter to a donkey instead—a common satirical trope in 18th-century Spanish literature—and, perhaps even more critically, himself to a monkey.

Interpretive Resources

View mobile website