Esto si que es leer, Plate 29 from: Los Caprichos
etching with burnished aquatint, drypoint and engraving, circa 1798-99, on laid paper, without watermark, a very good impression from the First Edition, published by the artist, Madrid, 1799, the very pale aquatint on the shoulder of the seated figure, which wears away early in the First Edition, still present
Plate 216 x 146 mm.
Sheet 298 x 203 mm.
Presumably Manuel Fernández Durán y Pando, Marqués de Perales del Río (1818-1886), Madrid.
Don Pedro Fernández-Durán (1846-1930), Madrid; with his stamp (Lugt 747b); presumably by descent from the above.
Don Tomas de la Maza y Saavedra (1896-1975); gift from the above.
With Herman Shickman Fine Arts, New York.
With Stuart Denenberg, Los Angeles.
Private American Collection; acquired from the above.
Delteil 66; Harris 64
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Lot Essay

Prado manuscript: While his hair is being combed and his shoes put on, he sleeps and studies. No one could say that he is not making the best use of his time.

‘It would be difficult for this man to read since his eyes are closed. This apparently is an attack on the mediocrity of the privileged and ruling classes who spend their time being served and pampered rather than bettering themselves through intellectual pursuits or at least reading of some kind. The Ayala text bears out this idea but refers specifically to ministros: ‘The Ministers wait until the last moment in order to inform themselves on business matters. Thus, beforehand, he is combed, and shod and he sleeps. Who could say that he is not making the best use of his time.’

Cited in: R. S. Johnson, Francisco Goya, Los Caprichos, R.S. Johnson Fine Art, Chicago, 1992, p. 84.
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