FRANCISCO DE GOYA
Pobrecitas! Poor little girls!
Etching and aquatint.
21.5 x 15.1 cm (8 ¹/₂ x 6 inches)
Delteil 59/II (of III); Harris 57/III.1 (of III.12)
Hessian private collection
Plate 22 of the series >Los Caprichos<.
First edition (1799) of altogether 12 editions, the only one printed during the artist’s lifetime.
Superb early impression especially showing the intensive aquatint without any wear, so that the white of the fresh paper in the few untreated spots in the background and in the veil of the girl in the front stand out exceptionally effectively and bright, as especially intended by the artist. With almost full margins.
Sympathy for the >poor little girls< predominates in the commentaries, solely Prado raises his voice against them in his manuscript: “One should teach these slovenly women some discipline. Catch them, they were loose long enough.” The other interpretations rather see it as a hard accusation of the difference between poor and rich: “The unfortunates, who might have become prostitutes out of their misery, go into prison whenever the henchmen want them to; the well-situated live their lives as they want to, because laws are made only for the poor.” (A. E. Pérez Sanchez)