National Museum Tour
2005 - 2016

- Tour Complete -
- Exhibition Visits 21 Museum -

Organized by
Traveling Exhibitions,
Los Angeles, CA

Essay by
Robert Flynn Johnson

Curator in Charge, Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts,
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

- Introduction - Exhibition Facts - Schedule -
- Exhibition Essay by Robert Flynn Johnson -
Installation images Ringling Museum Sarasota, FL November, 2007



Exhibition Premieres at
Knoxville Museum of Art, July 2005

"We have been geting rave reviews from our patrons."

Dana Self, Curator, Knoxville Musem of Art



Los Caprichos, a set of eighty etchings by Spanish artist Francisco de Goya y Lucientes published in 1799, is one of the most influential series of graphic images in the history of Western art. This exhibition features a fine first edition of the complete set of the etchings originally acquired in the late 19th century by the greatest donor to the Prado, Fernandes Duran, Marquis de Peralta.

Included in the exhibition for comparison are other works by Goya: four later edition prints from Los Caprichos; two examples of early etchings after Velasquez; and one example each from Goya's other major graphic series: Los Desastres de la Guerra, Los Proverbios, and La Tauromaquia. Additionally, to demonstrate the broad influence of Los Caprichos, the exhibition includes a drawing by Edward Hagedorn, circa 1925, after Los Caprichos plate 51, "Se repulen," and eight etchings by contemporary artist Enrique Chagoya, The Return to Goya’s Caprichos, published in 1999.

Enigmatic and controversial, Los Caprichos was created in a time of social repression and economic crisis in Spain. Influenced by Enlightenment thinking, Goya set out to analyze the human condition and denounce social abuses and superstitions. Los Caprichos was his passionate declaration that the chains of social backwardness had to be broken if humanity was to advance. The series attests to the artist's political liberalism and to his revulsion at ignorance and intellectual oppression, mirroring his ambivalence toward authority and the church.

Los Caprichos deals with such themes as the Spanish Inquisition, the corruption of the church and the nobility, witchcraft, child rearing, avarice, and the frivolity of young women. Its subhuman cast includes goblins, monks, aristocrats, procuresses, prostitutes, and animals acting like human fools; these personages populate a world on the margins of reason, where no clear boundaries distinguish reality from fantasy.

“Capricho” can be translated as a “whim,” a “fantasy or an expression of imagination.” In Goya’s use of the term for this series of prints, however, the meaning has deepened, binding an ironical cover of humor over one of the most profound indictments of human vice ever set on paper.

The first certain record of the full set of Los Caprichos is a receipt dated January 17, 1799, for the four copies bought by the duke of Osuna. A month later two newspaper announcements appeared in the Diario on Wednesday, February 6, and in the Gazeta on Tuesday, February 19, 1799 (España Moderna, No. 138, Madrid, 1900), to the effect that a collection of prints of fanciful subjects, invented and etched by Don Francisco Goya, was on sale at a perfume and liqueur shop in the Calle del Desengaño 1, Madrid, for 320 reales for each book of eighty engravings. Goya lived at the Calle del Desengaño 1 from 1779 until at least 1784. An early draft by Goya of an advertisement for the series shows that he was proposing to sell them through a bookseller; he must have been unable to find anyone interested in the project and was forced to put them on sale in the shop below his apartment, surrounded by bottles of liqueurs and perfumes.

The exhibition includes an essay contributed by Robert Flynn Johnson, Curator in Charge, Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. In his essay for the exhibition, Johnson takes a fresh approach to Los Caprichos. He writes, “Francisco Goya should be seen as the first modern artist--he chose to go beyond depictions of religion, mythology, and history, and even beyond observation of the visible world, turning instead toward the psychological demons that have always inhabited men’s souls. Until Goya, these demons had rarely been made artistically visible--Goya had the courage and the genius to depict them. ...Los Caprichos stands as the greatest single work of art created in Spain since the writings of Cervantes and the paintings of Velázquez over one hundred fifty years earlier. These astonishing prints have cast a dark shadow of inspiration over generations of artists since their creation. …the imagery unleashed in the unrelentingly dark and cynical series of Los Caprichos continues to provoke and disturb our contemporary consciousness--even after two centuries! That is the essence of great art, to endure, and to continue to have relevance.”

Johnson has also added his own illuminating observations to each of the eighty plates of Los Caprichos, and has undertaken an enlightening comparison between three interpretive manuscripts contemporary with Goya discussing each of the individual plates. These are known as the “Prado,” the “Ayala,” and the “Madrid Biblioteca Nacional,” manuscripts.

The exhibition has been developed by Landau Traveling Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA, in association with Denenberg Fine Arts, West Hollywood, CA. The museum tour has been organized by Landau Traveling Exhibitions which, since 1967, has presented more that 500 fine art and architecture exhibitions at museums and university galleries throughout the world.


Exhibition Facts

Total number of works: 100 framed pieces

List of Works to be included:

Goya: LOS CAPRICHOS, 1799 - 80 etchings
Goya: LOS CAPRICHOS, later editions - 4 etchings
Goya: Los Desastres de la Guerra -1 etching
Goya: Los Proverbios - 1 etching
Goya: La Tauromaquia - 1 etching
Goya: After Velazquez - 2 etchings
Edward Hagedorn: Se Repulen - 1 drawing
Enrique Chagoya: Return to the Caprichos series - 8 etchings
2 antique maps of Spain

Text panels with credits, an introduction, and biographical infomation about Goya, the Curator's Essay, and detailed wall labels for the works

Robert Flynn Johnson, Curator in Charge, Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

Loan Fee:
price on request

Dates Available: 
2005 - 2009

Exhibitor responsible

Exhibitor responsible

Jeffrey Landau
Tel: 310-397-3098
Fax: 310-397-3018
Landau Traveling Exhibitions
3615 Moore St.
Los Angeles, CA 90066
Web site:
E mail:


Click here to view images of all 80 plates of the Caprichos on the web site of the Davison Art Center, Wesleyan University



National Museum Tour

2005 - 2016

- 21 Museum Exhibition Tour Complete -
- Exhibition Visits 21 Museums -


7/7 - 9/18 Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville, TN


2/15 - 5/13 Fleming Museum, Univ. of Vermont, Burlington, VT

6/9 - 8/6 National Steinbeck Center Museum, Salinas, CA

9/15 - 11/15 Braithwaite Fine Arts Gallery, SUU, Cedar City, UT

12/15 - 2/28/07  Portland Museum of Art, Portland, ME


4/5 - 6/3 Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, Sonoma, CA

9/15 - 12/15 Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, FL


1/26 - 4/20 San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA

8/22 - 10/15 EL Museo para la Identidad, Tegucigalpa, Honduras

11/11 - 12/12  Cal State Fullerton Art Gallery, Fullerton, CA


10/3/09 - 1/3/2010 - Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile, AL


2/20 - 5/16 - Museum of the Rockies, Bozeman, MT

12/3/2010 - 2/6//2011 - The Taft Museum, Cincinnati, OH


3/17 - 5/15 - LSU Art Gallery, Baton Rouge, LA

9/ 17 - 11/ 27 - Nassau County Museum, Roslyn Harbor, NY


2/5 - 6/10 - Albuquerque Museum of Art & History

9/6 - 1/3/13 - The Muzeo, Anaheim, CA


6/22 - 9/22 - Loveland Museum, Loveland, CO


6/1 - 8/31 - Allentown Art Museum, Allentown, PA

9/15/2014 - 1/3/2015 Jones Carter Gallery, Lake City, SC


Feburay 3 - May 10 - Palmer Museum of Art, PSU, University Park, PA