Los Chinchillas, Plate 50 from: Los Caprichos
etching with burnished aquatint, drypoint and engraving, 1799, on laid paper, without watermark, a fine impression from the First Edition, published by the artist, Madrid, 1799
Plate 205 x 150 mm.
Sheet 315 x 226 mm.
Delteil 87; Harris 85
Special notice
This lot has been imported from outside of the UK for sale and placed under the Temporary Admission regime. Import VAT is payable at 5% on the hammer price. VAT at 20% will be added to the buyer’s premium but will not be shown separately on our invoice.
Please note this lot is the property of a consumer. See H1 of the Conditions of Sale.
Sale Room Notice
Please note that the starting bid for this lot has been reduced further.
Brought to you by

Lot Essay

‘In the case of this Capricho, the Ayala text of 1799-1803 rather unusually is less specific than the Prado text in that it does not refer directly to ‘Los Chinchillas’: ‘Those idiots, who pride themselves on their nobility, let themselves go to laziness and superstition. They close off their understanding with padlocks while they are grossly fed by Ignorance’. The ‘Chinchillas’ to which the given title of this work refers, concerns a play written by José de Cahizares El Dömine Lucas in which a family named Chinchilla attaches an extraordinary importance to its family's noble background. In Goya's preliminary drawing (at the Prado) and in the final etching, two apparent members of the totally decadent Chinchilla family each with his ears padlocked, are being spoon-fed. The two nobles are totally encased and weighted down by their coats-of-arms. Unable to move, they are given food (being unable to provide it for themselves) in the drawing by two apparent prostitutes and in the etching by a figure whose blindfold and donkey's ears could only represent Ignorance. A second drawing at the Prado is closest to the final etching. The clear subject here is what Goya and the Enlightened felt to be undeserved power through inherited titles.’

R. S. Johnson, Francisco Goya, Los Caprichos, R.S. Johnson Fine Art, Chicago, 1992, pp. 126-128.
More from
Old Master Prints
Place your bid Condition report

A Christie's specialist may contact you to discuss this lot or to notify you if the condition changes prior to the sale.

I confirm that I have read this Important Notice regarding Condition Reports and agree to its terms. View Condition Report