Que Sacrificio! (What a Sacrifice!)

Francisco Goya (1746-1828),  Que Sacrificio! (What a Sacrifice!), etching, burnished aquatint and drypoint, 1799. Reference: Harris 49, Plate 14 from the First Edition of Los Caprichos (of 12); edition of about 300.  In very good condition (slight thinning spots inherent in paper verso, hints of light foxing esp. verso). The full sheet with full margins, 7 7/8 x 6, the sheet 12 5/8 x 8 1/2 inches.

A fine impression, printed in sepia on a hand made, soft but strong laid paper.

In this impression one can distinguish the aquatint, which was applied in only one pale tone, from white of the paper in the old man’s head and shoulders, and the head of the girl. In the later impressions (including of course the posthumous impressions of the succeeding eleven editions) these contrasts are lost.

Goya’s commentary: “That’s how things are! The fiance is not very attractive, but he is rich, and at the cost of the freedom of an unhappy girl, the security of a hungry family is acquired. It is the way of the world.”