Francisco Goya Los Caprichos Exhibition Opens at the Nassau County Museum of Art

. September 17, 2011 . 0 Comments

The Nassau County Museum of Art presents an exhibition on view September 17, 2011 through November 27, 2011, features an early first edition of Los Caprichos, a set of 80 etchings by Spanish artist Francisco de Goya y Lucientes that was published in 1799. It is regarded as one of the most influential series of graphic images in the history of Western art. Francisco Goya: Los Caprichos was organized by Landau Traveling Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA, in association with Denenberg Fine Art, West Hollywood, CA.

“Capricho” can be translated as a whim, a fantasy or an expression of imagination. In Goya’s use of the term, the meaning deepens, binding an ironical layer of humor over one of the most profound indictments of human vice ever set on paper.
Enigmatic and controversial, Los Caprichos was created in a time of social repression and economic crisis in Spain. Influenced by Enlightenment thinking, Goya set out to analyze the human condition and denounce social abuses and superstitions. Los Caprichos was his passionate declaration that the chains of social backwardness had to be broken if humanity was to advance. The series attests to the artist’s political liberalism and to his revulsion at ignorance and intellectual oppression, mirroring his ambivalence toward authority and the church. Los Caprichos deals with personages populate a world on the margins of reason, where no clear boundaries distinguish reality from fantasy.

In his essay accompanying the exhibition, Robert Flynn Johnson, curator in charge, Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, states:

Francisco Goya should be seen as the first modern artist–he chose to go beyond depictions of religion, mythology, and history, and even beyond observation of the visible world, turning instead toward the psychological demons that have always inhabited men’s souls. Until Goya, these demons had rarely been made artistically visible–Goya had the courage and the genius to depict them. Los Caprichos stands as the greatest single work of art created in Spain since the writings of Cervantes and the paintings of Velázquez over one hundred fifty years earlier.

Francisco Goya: Los Caprichos opens at Nassau County Museum of Art on Saturday, September 17 and remains on view through Sunday, November 27. The museum is offering several programs that will serve to enhance the viewer’s appreciation of the exhibition. Among these are daily screenings of Goya: Crazy Like a Genius, a film written by the prominent art commentator Robert Hughes, and lunchtime lectures followed by tours of the exhibition on October 13 and November 17. For details, visit the museum’s website,

Category: Art Culture

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