GOYA Y LUCIENTES, Francisco (1746-1828)
El de la rollona
Calcografía for the Real Academia, [1799, this edition c.1878]. Etching and aquatint. From the 4th edition of "Los Caprichos" - plate 4. Sheet size: 11 7/8 x 8 1/2 inches.
Goya's pitiless caricature of a grown up "mama's boy"
Los Caprichos was Goya's first collection of completely original etchings. They were and remain startlingly original in style and frequently shocking in their satirical assaults. They are strikingly modern and are his most popular prints today, though they were received with little favor in 1799 when they first appeared for sale. But even within Goya's lifetime enthusiasm grew.
El de la rollona is uncompromising in its mockery of the mama's boy who is dressed in baby clothes, has his fingers in his mouth and a look of terror in his eyes, though he's bearded and obviously strong. The nanny or mother grieves in the shadow behind him, so disappointed in his failure to become a man.
Goya's textual comment about this engraving is: "Negligence, tolerance and spoiling make children capricious, naughty, vain, greedy, lazy and insufferable. They grow up and yet remain childish. Thus is nanny's little boy."
The fourth edition of Caprichos , from which this print comes, was made about 1878, as witnessed by the beveled platemark and the "strong, absorbent, wove paper" and "dark umber ink".
Harris, v. 1, 95-109; v.II, p. 74; Delteil 41; Hind p.253 - 5.