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Severity is not always good
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

Severity is not always good

1816 - 1820. Wash, Indian ink on dark yellow laid paper. Not on display

A boy trying to do his homework buries his face in his hands to protect himself from the threat of an old woman´s whip. The brutality of the punishment is decisively underlined by the authoritative presence of the old woman, with her legs and hands open, her dominant figure contras with the smallness of the child. The almost animal characters of the woman´s face correspond to the irrationality of violence, based on an old maxim, spare the rod and spoil the child, which was already outmoded even at that time, but still practiced among the popular classes.

Sketchbook E is characterized by its black borders, drawn with great care by Goya, conferring a timeless dignity upon the drawings and concentrating the scenes. The silence that many of the drawings seem to transmit associates them with lithographs made by Goya around 1819, for which reason this Sketchbook has been dated at approximately 1816-1820.Most of the drawings here depict individual figures in different attitudes and affected by diverse emotions, but occasionally they also show two or three characters. The spaces range from barely sketched landscapes to more abstract places, indicated by a brief shadow. In this way he confers a starling monumentality to the scenes and figures. Because of its size, larger than the paper used in the other albums, some of the pages of the Sketchbook were cut, and the numbering placed by Goya at the top margin has thus disappeared. The fine finish of the drawings and edges, similar to recent examples from Sketchbook B, would seem to indicate an intention to publish them, perhaps as lithographs.

Matilla Rodríguez, José Manuel, Ligereza y atrevimiento. Dibujos de Goya, Santander, Fundación Botín, 2017, p.99 n.53; 186 n. 53


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Wash on dark yellow laid paper, 1816 - 1820
Inventory number
Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de
Severity is not always good
1816 - 1820
Wash; Indian ink
Dark yellow laid paper
Height: 264 mm.; Width: 178 mm.
Cuaderno E, 13

Bibliography +

Goya, 1746-1828, Delmas, Burdeos, 1951.

Francisco Goya y Lucientes 1746-1828: retrospective, Institut de France, Paris, 1961.

Gassier, Pierre, Dibujos de Goya: los álbumes, Noguer, Barcelona, 1973.

España. Ministerio de Cultura, Adquisiciones de bienes culturales 2007, Ministerio de Cultura, Subdirecci, 2009, pp. 158.

Museo Nacional del Prado, No solo Goya: adquisiciones para el Gabinete de Dibujos y Estampas del Museo del Prado: 1997-2010, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2011, pp. 133-140.

Matilla Rodríguez, José Manuel, Ligereza y atrevimiento. Dibujos de Goya, Fundación Botín, Santander, 2017, pp. 99 n.53; 186 n. 53.

Matilla, J.M. Mena M.B., Goya: dibujos. Solo la voluntad me sobra, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2019, pp. 327 nº 220.

Other inventories +

Inv. Nuevas Adquisiciones (iniciado en 1856). Núm. 2769.

Catálogo Goya, Pierre Gassier y Juliet Wilson. Núm. 1389.

Inscriptions +

No es siempre bueno el rigor
Inscribed in pencil. Front


Exhibitions +

Goya: Dibujos del Museo del Prado. Melbourne
25.06.2021 - 03.10.2021

Goya. Drawings. "Only my Strength of Will Remains"
20.11.2019 - 16.02.2020

Solo la voluntad me sobra. Dibujos de Francisco de Goya
19.11.2019 - 16.02.2020

Ligereza y atrevimiento. Dibujos de Goya
22.06.2017 - 30.09.2017

No solo Goya. Adquisiciones para el Gabinete de dibujos y estampas del Museo del Prado 1997-2010
05.05.2011 - 28.08.2011

Update date: 14-10-2021 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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