Can't Anyone Untie Us? (¿No hay quien no desate?)
Francisco de Goya y Lucientes
In 1799 Francisco de Goya y Lucientes announced the publication of The Caprichos, eighty etchings and aquatints whose satiric, imaginary subjects offered scathing critiques of the characters, institutions, and values of early modern Spanish society. The prints are among the most influential images in European art. They also demonstrate Goya’s mastery of the aquatint technique, with which he created the velvety dark tones that amplify the etchings’ mysterious quality.
Each plate has a poetic or aphoristic caption, but the images alone—filled with animals, witches, goblins, and unenlightened people from all levels of society—convey a range of human failings and vices. In the selections on view here, Goya skewered vanity, sycophancy, forced marriage, and ignorance, with imagery that has continuing relevance. In The Chinchillas, for example, two figures with closed eyes and padlocked ears—one holding a rosary and the other a sword, both dressed in heraldry-emblazoned straitjackets—open their mouths to passively receive ideas fed to them by the other figure, who wears donkey ears symbolizing ignorance.
The Brooklyn Museum’s The Caprichos is a rare set of “trial proofs,” early impressions made by the artist before the officially published edition.
Etching and aquatint on laid paper
Sheet: 11 7/8 x 8 in. (30.2 x 20.3 cm)
Other (Plate): 8 9/16 x 6 in. (21.7 x 15.2 cm)
Image: 7 3/4 x 5 1/2 in. (19.7 x 14 cm) (show scale)
This item is not on view
A. Augustus Healy Fund, Frank L. Babbott Fund, and Carll H. de Silver Fund
No known copyright restrictions
This work may be in the public domain in the United States. Works created by United States and non-United States nationals published prior to 1923 are in the public domain, subject to the terms of any applicable treaty or agreement.
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this work. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form
The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties, such as artists or artists' heirs holding the rights to the work. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act.
The Brooklyn Museum makes no representations or warranties with respect to the application or terms of any international agreement governing copyright protection in the United States for works created by foreign nationals.
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact email@example.com
Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (Spanish, 1746-1828). Can't Anyone Untie Us? (¿No hay quien no desate?), 1797-1798. Etching and aquatint on laid paper, Sheet: 11 7/8 x 8 in. (30.2 x 20.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, A. Augustus Healy Fund, Frank L. Babbott Fund, and Carll H. de Silver Fund, 37.33.75 (Photo: , 37.33.75_PS9.jpg)
overall, 37.33.75_PS9.jpg., 2019
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.