Opening December 4th
Francisco Goya: Los Caprichos
December 4, 2010–January 30, 2011
“For those who feel a secret empathy with
Scrooge and the Grinch, the Taft offers an antidote
to Yuletide’s good cheer this winter.
The full set of Francisco Goya’s 80 haunting images
from Los Caprichos (“The Whims” or “The Fantasies,” published in 1799)
confront human hypocrisy, pretense, fear, and irrationality,
picturing them in every conceivable form.
Goya’s singularly original visions of monsters,
specters, corpses, and other bitter or callous
beings enact challenges to authority of all kinds,
including that of the church and state.
Los Caprichos are likely the great Spanish artist’s
most influential works and continue to inspire artists to this day.
As both prints and images, they are decades ahead of their time.
In them, Goya pioneered astonishingly innovative etching techniques,
visual forms, and artistic themes, anticipating the later movements
known as Realism, Post-Impressionism, Symbolism, and Surrealism.
The etchings on view are from an early first edition,
one of four sets acquired directly from Goya,
and belong now to an American private collector.
The exhibition is organized by Landau Traveling Exhibitions.
Goya (1746–1826) is one of the world’s greatest artists,
as famous for portraits that seemingly penetrate his sitters’ souls
as he is for portrayals of the brutality of the
Napoleonic Wars in Spain (1808–14).
The Taft Museum of Art owns an important oil portrait by Goya,
Queen Maria Luisa of Spain, of about 1800.”