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Here comes the bogey-man.
Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de
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Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de

Fuendetodos, Zaragoza (Spain), 1746 - Bordeaux (France), 1828

Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de See author's file

Here comes the bogey-man.

1797 - 1799. Etching, Burnished aquatint on ivory laid paper.
Not on display

Los Caprichos is the most widely disseminated of Goya´s series of prints and consists of 80 plates. They were published in 1799, following a creative process that began in 1794 with two sets of drawings, collected in the Madrid Album and the Sanlúcar Album. These drawings provided the genesis for several images in the series. During these four years, Goya sketched the Sueños (Dreams) that later became Los Caprichos, drew numerous preparatory drawings in sanguine (a red crayon) and prepared more than 80 copper plates, several of them discarded in the definitive edition.Goya´s Caprichos are a compendium of some of the demands of those who shared the ideology of the Enlightenment: their criticism of society´s errors, vices and ignorance, and their confidence in the role of education, which led them to pursue the elimination of the bad practices in traditional childrearing in favour of new pedagogical models. In the 1780s, enlightened advisers of the Spanish government had prepared proposals to introduce the teaching methods of Swiss pedagogue Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi. Their insistence on the advantages of this method, which had been applied successfully in other areas of Europe, led to the creation in 1805 of the Instituto Pestalozziano in Madrid. The pedagogical principles supported by the enlightened minority emphasised the use of reason and the rejection of punishments and intimidation in the education of children.This is the context of the third plate in Los Caprichos, in which a mother frightens her children with the figure of the coco, or bogey-man, an imaginary being that was a common feature of Spanish popular culture. In the eighteenth century, the terrible coco was defined, according to the Diccionario de autoridades (1729), as a horrifying, ugly figure ... invented to frighten and control children. In the view of Enlightenment thinkers, teaching based on fear produced grave consequences when the child reached adulthood, for superstition reduced its capacity to reason, and intimidation turned it into a servile citizen, dominated by the force of authority. Some of Goya´s contemporaries interpreted this image in those terms. One of the commentaries on Los Caprichos, written shortly after their publication, offers the following explanation: Lamentable abuse of early education. To cause a child to fear the bogey-man more than his father and so make it afraid of something that does not exist.In addition to censuring bad practices in the education of children, however, this Capricho may have had another meaning, namely a moral judgement against adultery. The majority of the manuscript commentaries identify the phantasm with the woman´s lover: Bad mothers scare their children with the coco so they can speak alone with their lovers. In contrast to the children´s expressions of fear in this print, the mother´s spellbound look would seem to give her away. In the preparatory sketch in sanguine, one notes lines that have been described as the canopy of a bed, and below the mantle worn by the bogey-man, one can see the tips of the figure´s shoes, the same type that customers of prostitutes wear in other prints in the series (Blas Benito, J.: Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado, Queensland Art Gallery-Art Exhibitions Australia, 2012, p. 212).


Technical data

Related artworks

Que viene el Coco
Black chalk, Red chalk on laid paper, Ca. 1797
Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de
Que viene el Coco
Etching, Burnished aquatint on ivory laid paper, 1797 - 1799
Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de
Inventory number
Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de
Here comes the bogey-man.
1797 - 1799
Etching; Burnished aquatint
Ivory laid paper
Height: 263 mm; Width: 202 mm; Height of the plate mark: 216 mm; Width of the plate mark: 153 mm
Caprichos [estampa], 3
Acquisition, 1990

Bibliography +

Harris, T., Goya, engravings and lithographs, II, Bruno Cassirer, Oxford, 1964, pp. 73, n. 38.

Delteil, L., Goya. Le peintre graveur illustré (XIXe et XXe siécles). Reed., XIV, Collectors Editions Da Capo Press, Nueva York, 1969, pp. n.40.

Artemis Fine Arts (Firma), Francisco de Goya. Los Caprichos. Twenty Working and Trial Proofs. An early copy of the First Edition and A new Census of Working and Trial Proofs and their locations, Artemis Fine Arts, Londres, 1987, pp. n.1.

Wilson-Bareau, J., Goya: la década de los Caprichos. Dibujos y aguafuertes, Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, Madrid, 1992, pp. 74-76.

Vega, J., Museo del Prado: catálogo de estampas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1992, pp. 69, n. 252.

Helliesen, S., Goya: Malerei, Tegning, Grafikk, Nasjonal Gallerie, Oslo, 1996.

Matilla, J.M & Blas, J., Os Caprichos de Goya. Desenhos e Gravuras do Museu do Prado e da Calcografia Nacional de Espanha, Fundaçao Centro Cultural de Belem, Lisboa, 2001, pp. 70-73.

Muller, P.E., “Los Caprichos como obra en curso”, en Goya, Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, Galaxia Gutenberg, Círculo de Lectores, 2002, pp. 83-98 [p. 93].

Kendall, Richard, 'Degas y el arte español' En: Del realismo al impresionismo, Fundación Amigos Museo del Prado - Galaxia Gutenberg, Madrid, 2014, pp. 125-141 [135].

Jacobs, H.C.; Klingenberger, M, Preyer, N, Los comentarios manuscritos sobre los Caprichos de Goya: edición, traducción , interpretación - III, Institución Fernando el Católico, Zaragoza, 2019.

Other inventories +

Inv. Nuevas Adquisiciones (iniciado en 1856). Núm. 2231.

Inscriptions +

Grabado en la lámina de cobre: “P.3. // Que biene el Coco”.
Engraved. Front

Recto: sello seco en el ángulo inferior izquierdo con monograma “MB” dentro de rectángulo (13 x 16 mm); marca correspondiente a la colección de Mariano Ballester —segunda mitad del siglo XIX
Dry seal. Front, lower left corner

Verso: marca de torreón (5 x 3 mm), en el margen inferior, estampada en tinta negra.
Printmaking. Back, lower area

Exhibitions +

Goya Beyeler
10.10.2021 - 23.01.2022

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado
16.12.2012 - 31.03.2013

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado
Houston TX
15.12.2012 - 31.03.2013

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado
22.07.2012 - 04.11.2012

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado
Brisbane, Australia
21.07.2012 - 04.11.2012

Francisco de Goya. El proceso creativo de los Caprichos
11.10.2001 - 31.12.2001

Francisco de Goya
10.02.1996 - 14.04.1996

Goya: la década de los Caprichos
26.10.1992 - 10.01.1993

Update date: 30-09-2022 | Registry created on 24-08-2015

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