Goya's Los Caprichos comes to Vermont

Burlington, VT- BURLINGTON- This spring, an unprecedented display of Francisco Goya's celebrated Los Caprichos (1799) will fill the East Gallery of the Robert Hull Fleming Museum. Featuring the complete set of 80 black and white prints, Los Caprichos presents a masterpiece of both artistic expression and social commentary by one of the greatest artists of the late 18th century. An illustrated discourse on the corruption and degeneracy of his time, Goya's Los Caprichos is at once an arresting and thought-provoking experience, filled with pathos, humor and criticism. A grand Opening reception for the exhibition will be held Thursday, February 16, from 5:30 until 7:30 with UVM President Dan Fogle and his wife, Rachel, hosting the event. The exhibition will be on display through May 14, 2006.

A renowned painter, draftsman, and printmaker, Goya (1746-1828) achieved recognition for his unparalleled portraits and religious scenes, which led to his appointment in 1789 as a court painter to the Spanish royal family. Los Caprichos, however, marks a dramatic shift in Goya's oeuvre. Politically and socially astute, Goya was keenly aware of Spain's repressive atmosphere. At a time when most of Europe was embracing the progressive ideals of the Enlightenment, Spain was distinguished by its absolutist regime, a still formidable Catholic Church, and national policies that enabled a small number of nobles and ecclesiastics to maintain their privileged status over an impoverished population.

Drawing inspiration from a range of sources, including the British caricaturist William Hogarth and the Italian tradition of capriccio (caprice, whimsy, or impulse), Goya employed caustic satire to chronicle human vice, folly, and witchcraft, as well as abuses perpetrated by those wielding excessive political and economic power. Filled with a remarkable cast of exquisitely drawn characters ranging from aristocrats to goblins, Los Caprichos conjures up a haunting vision of a world without reason.

Prints were the ideal medium to facilitate the reproduction and distribution of Goya's scathing caricatures. Goya, furthermore, took advantage of the unique aesthetic qualities of etching and aquatint to create dramatic tonal variations and complex linear arrangements, which demonstrate both his remarkable draftsmanship and his facility with printmaking techniques.

Throughout the spring, the Fleming Museum will present an exciting line-up of programming that explores Francisco Goya: Los Caprichos from a rich mix of social, historical, literary, and artistic perspectives. More information about these programs and the Museum's spring exhibitions can be found at the Museum's website at

Support for Francisco Goya: Los Caprichos this exhibition has been generously provided by the Kalkin Family Exhibitions Endowment Fund, KeyBank, and the Walter Cerf Exhibitions Fund. Program support has been provided by the University of Vermont's Honors College, Area and International Studies, and Humanities Center. The exhibition Francisco Goya: Los Caprichos was organized by Landau Traveling Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA.

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Image Info:
Francisco de Goya (1746-1828), The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters, (Plate 43 of Los Caprichos, 1797-1799. Etching and aquatint. Courtesy of Landau Traveling Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA. (16.4MB)


Francisco Goya: Los Caprichos
DATES: Thursday, February 16 through Sunday, May 14

DATE: Thursday, February 16; 5:30-7:30PM

$5 adults. $10 family, $3 students and seniors. Free to: Museum members; faculty, staff and students of UVM, Burlington College, Champlain College, Community College of Vermont, and St. Michael's College; Children 6 and under.