Satirizing the senses: The representation of perception in Goya's Los Caprichos

Andrew Schulz

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3 Scopus citations


This essay examines a previously neglected aspect of Los Caprichos (1799): the depiction of the sense organs, particularly eyes and mouths. By considering Goya's representation of perception in relation to eighteenth-century epistemology, I argue that this somatic iconography constitutes a fundamental component of the mechanics of satire in the prints. The aim of this approach is to examine the intellectual tools that Goya's contemporaries would have brought to bear on the images, and, in doing so, to re-evaluate the artist's relation to the Spanish Enlightenment. Although Goya's working process is not a principal focus, attention is paid to the evolution of the representation of the senses in the drawings and proofs that led to the final prints.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-181
Number of pages29
JournalArt History
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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