Francisco de Goya

The exhortations

Clasificación
The exhortations
Datos Generales
Cronología
1815 - 1819
Dimensiones
246 x 359 mm
Técnica y soporte
Etching and burnished aquatint
Reconocimiento de la autoría de Goya
Documented work
Ficha: realización/revisión
22 Aug 2021 / 17 Mar 2023
Inventario
-
Historia

See Femenine folly.

There is a print of the posthumous 1848 edition in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and another in the Prado National Museum, Madrid.

Análisis artístico

A strange scene in which a horrified, wide-eyed woman recoils without letting go of the hand of a man in a white cap who is bending his head down. The grief-stricken male figure has three arms: one pointing towards the woman, one holding his head, and the third pointing towards a preacher to his left. The cadaverous-faced preacher seems to be admonishing the three-armed man, the woman being the object of his harangue, hence her panicked expression. In turn, she is advised by a hooded female figure, perhaps a nun with two faces, one on her head and one on her elbow, possibly related to the saying "to talk with one's elbows". Behind her, a deformed being has two faces, one dejected and the other laughable. On the far left of the composition, another man in an apron wears three faces on his head, two from the front and one towards the back, the front ones with a sad and happy expression and the last one as if dead. In the background there is a vague suggestion of something barely recognisable. It could be an eagle holding something in its talons, a monster carrying someone else to the meeting, or a half-dead tree with a white figure tied to it.

All the characters are linked to each other, clasped by their hands to form a sinister chain in which each one bears his own fate. The multiplicity of faces and limbs is related to Caprice 84. Of lies and constancy, although in this case not as a symbol of hypocrisy but as a stigma of destiny. Man must choose between two options, liberalism and absolutism. The anguish of the decision is embodied in the three-armed, bowed-headed man. He does not know which path to choose in the face of the dark world before him, for the exhortations of the moralists can be as terrible as the temptations they warn against. Others have interpreted the print as a vision of what a marital separation was like in Goya's time.

The light is arbitrarily concentrated on different parts of the figures in order to focus attention on them and emphasise the gloom that envelops them against the aquatint background. This is in two tones, a medium tone on the figures and the ground, and a darker tone in the upper part of the background, which contrasts with the burnishing on the left thigh of the woman in the centre and on the dress of the woman next to her.

The preparatory drawing for the present print, also entitled The Exhortations, has survived.

Exposiciones
  • Goya
    Musée Jacquemart-André
    París
    1961
    consultant editor Jean-Gabriel Domergue. From December 1961 to February 1962
  • Etchings by Francosco Goya
    Johannesburgo
    Johannesburgo
    1974
  • 1976
  •  Grabados de Goya: colección propiedad de la Biblioteca Nacional, que se conserva en su Gabinete de
    Casa de la Amistad de Moscú
    Moscow
    1979
    exhibition displayed from January 18th to 31st 1979
  • Boston
    1974
  • Goya y el espíritu de la Ilustración
    Museo Nacional del Prado
    Madrid
    1988
    from October 6th to December 18th 1988. Exhibited also at Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, January 18th to March 26th 1989; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Nueva York, May 9th to July 16th 1989, Madrid curator Manuela B. Mena Marqués, scientific directors Alfonso E. Pérez Sánchez and Eleanor A. Sayre
  • Ydioma universal: Goya en la Biblioteca Nacional
    Biblioteca Nacional
    Madrid
    1996
    from September 19th to December 15th 1996
  • Francisco Goya. Sein leben im spiegel der graphik. Fuendetodos 1746-1828 Bordeaux. 1746-1996
    Galerie Kornfeld
    Bern
    1996
    from November 21st 1996 to January 1997
  • Goya. 250 Aniversario
    Museo Nacional del Prado
    Madrid
    1996
    consultant editor Juan J. Luna. From March 29th to June 2nd 1996
  • Goya grabador
    Museo del Grabado Español Contemporáneo
    Marbella
    1996
    from March 8th to May 5th 1996
  • Zaragoza
    1996
  • London
    1997
  • Madrid
    1999
  • Schlaf der Vernunft. Original radierungen von Francisco de Goya
    Munich
    2000
  • Bilbao
    2012
  • Goya et la modernité
    Pinacothèque de Paris
    París
    2013
    from October 11st 2013 to March 16th 2014
  • 2022
Bibliografía
  • HARRIS, Tomás
    OxfordBruno Cassirer
    1964
    p. 399, cat. 263
  • GASSIER, Pierre y WILSON, Juliet
    Vie et ouvre de Francisco de Goya
    ParísOffice du livre
    1970
    p. 326, cat. 1596
  • SANTIAGO, Elena M. (coordinadora)
    Catálogo de las estampas de Goya en la Biblioteca Nacional
    MadridMinisterio de Educación y Cultura, Biblioteca Nacional
    1996
    p. 244, cat. 393
  • CARRETE, Juan, MATILLA, José Manuel, AULLÓN DE HARO, Pedro, BOZAL, Valeriano, GLENDINNING, Nigel, VEGA, Jesusa y BLAS, Javier
    MadridReal Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando y Calcografía Nacional
    1996
    p. 111, cat. 36
  • MATILLA, José Manuel
    Roma Edizioni de Luca
    2000
    pp. 140-141, cat. 48
  • OROPESA, Marisa and RINCÓN GARCÍA, Wilfredo
    ParísPinacoteca de París
    2013
    p. 275
  • TORAL OROPESA, María and MARTÍN MEDINA, Víctor
    Museo de Bellas Artes de Badajoz y Diputación de Badajoz
    2022
    p. 99
  • WILSON BAREAU, Juliet
    Goya. In the Norton Simon Museum
    PasadenaNorton Simon Museum
    2016
    pp. 204-211
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