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They've Already Got a Seat (Ya tienen asiento)

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes

European Art

Los Caprichos, Goya's famous series of satirical etchings and aquatints, consists of eighty plates with text. "Since the artist is convinced that the censure of human errors and vices … may also be the object of painting," he wrote in 1799, "he has chosen subjects adequate for his work [Los Caprichos], from the multitude of follies and blunders common in every civil society, as well as from the vulgar prejudices, and lies authorized by custom, ignorance or interest, those that he has thought most suitable for ridicule as well as for exercising the artificer's fancy."

In plate 26 of Los Caprichos, two young ladies, blindly following the vicissitudes of fashion to the point of immodesty, wear their petticoats and upturned chairs on their heads—much to the mocking amusement of onlookers. With his title Ya tienen asiento, Goya makes a play on the Spanish word asiento which means both "seat" and "judgment," suggesting that these young ladies are thinking with their bottoms.

Considered the earliest proof set extant, the Museum's Los Caprichos is from the first and second states prior to the first edition. The quality of the impressions in the Museum's set is unsurpassed.
PORTFOLIO/SERIES Los Caprichos, Plate 26
MEDIUM Etching and aquatint on laid paper
  • Place Made: Spain
  • DATES 1797-1798
    DIMENSIONS Sheet: 11 7/8 x 7 7/8 in. (30.2 x 20 cm) Other (Plate): 8 9/16 x 6 in. (21.7 x 15.2 cm) Image: 7 5/8 x 5 7/16 in. (19.4 x 13.8 cm)  (show scale)
    INSCRIPTIONS Upper right in plate: "26."; lower center in plate: "Ya tienen asiento."
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 37.33.26
    STATE Trial proof
    CREDIT LINE A. Augustus Healy Fund, Frank L. Babbott Fund, and Carll H. de Silver Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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    CAPTION Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (Spanish, 1746-1828). They've Already Got a Seat (Ya tienen asiento), 1797-1798. Etching and aquatint on laid paper, Sheet: 11 7/8 x 7 7/8 in. (30.2 x 20 cm). Brooklyn Museum, A. Augustus Healy Fund, Frank L. Babbott Fund, and Carll H. de Silver Fund, 37.33.26
    IMAGE overall, 37.33.26_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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    RECORD COMPLETENESS Good (74%)
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