Thou Who Canst Not. (Caprichos, no. 42:
Tu que no puedes.), 1796-1797. Etching
and burnished aquatint
The Sleep of Reason Produces
Monsters: Plate 43 of The
Caprices (Los Caprichos), 1799
Francisco de Goya y Lucientes
Etching, aquatint, drypoint, and
Source: Francisco de Goya y Lucientes: The
Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters: Plate 43
of The Caprices (Los Caprichos) (18.64.43) |
Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History | The
Metropolitan Museum of Art
The artist's nightmare reflected his view of Spanish society, which he
portrayed as demented, corrupt, and ripe for ridicule.
About Goya’s work…
• The 1808 invasion of Spain by Napoleon’s army and the succeeding French
occupation, which lasted until 1814, had a profound impact on Francisco Goya.
• A powerful anti-war statement, Goya is not only criticizing the nations that wage
war on one another, but is also admonishing us, the viewers, for being complicit in
acts of violence, which occur not between abstract entities like “countries,” but
between one human being standing a few feet away from another.
• n the gruesome Disasters of War series begun in the 1808, but published decades
later, Goya created images that were unambiguously anti-war.
Francisco Goya: The Third of May, 1808
Oil on canvas, 8'9" x 13'4"
Collection Museo del Prado, Madrid
And There's Nothing to Be Done (Y no hai remedio), 1810–23
Goya's Disasters of War
19th century German artist: Kathe Kollwitz
While I drew, and wept along with the terrified
children I was drawing, I really felt the burden I
am bearing. I felt that I have no right to
withdraw from the responsibility of being an
Asking Questions About Society
• Would you be willing
to protest against
something or in
support of a belief if
you knew you might
be imprisoned for it?
Artist: Ai Weiwei
Chinese contemporary artist
An outspoken human rights activist, Ai was arrested by
Chinese authorities in April 2011 and held
incommunicado for three months.
Upon his release, he was prohibited from traveling
abroad, engaging in public speech, and was subjected to
continued government surveillance.
Han Dynasty Urn with Coca-Cola
10" by 11" by 11"
paint/Han Dynasty urn
• What is the artist communicating through his
piece: Han Dynasty Urn with Coca-Cola Logo?
• Compare to Cildo Meireles’ piece on page 299
of your textbook.
Cildo Meireles. Insertions into Ideological Circuits: Coca Cola Project,
Brazil, 1970. Screen print on Coca Cola bottles.
On the bottles, such messages as
‘Yankees Go Home’ are followed by the
work’s title and the artist’s statement of
purpose: ‘To register informations and
critical opinions on bottles and return them
The Coca-Cola bottle is an everyday object
of mass circulation; in 1970 in Brazil it was
a symbol of US imperialism and it has
become, globally, a symbol of capitalist
As the bottle progressively empties of dark
brown liquid, the statement printed in white
letters on a transparent label adhering to its
side becomes increasingly invisible, only to
reappear when the bottle is refilled for
renderings of counter-
cultural revolutionaries and
rap, punk and rock stars, as
well as updated and re-
posters, carry his signature
graphic style, marked by his
frequent use of black, white,
His portrait of Barack Obama, a ubiquitous
sight on the campaign trail, drew a new
level of attention to the artist's work and
was recently acquired by the National
Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, for its
Contemporary Artist: Shirin Neshat
Speechless is part of a series of
photographs titled “Women of
Allah” by Shirin Neshat. Neshat
was raised in Qazvin, Iran, but left
her country to pursue art in the US
after high school. She was unable
to return back to Iran until eleven
years later because of the Islamic
Revolution in 1979. When she
finally returned to Iran, it was
completely different from the
country she grew up in.
"Speechless" by Shirin Neshat, Iranian, born 1957.
RC print and ink, 66 x 521/2 “
Courtesy of the artist and Gladstone Gallery New York, 2006
In Speechless, Neshat uses a woman in
mourning to represent the oppression of
women in the Islamic culture.
Speechless is simple but also very
complex due to the symbolism of each
object in the picture. The solemn look on
the woman’s face with the tears
brimming at her eyes gives a look of
strength and also a cry for help. Neshat
makes the symbol of a woman in
mourning more powerful by having
opposites of each emotion in the
photograph: freedom and oppression,
strength and weakness, determination
and submission, hope and despair.
Contemporary Artist: Jenny Holzer
Whether questioning consumerist
impulses, describing torture, or lamenting
death and disease, Jenny Holzer’s use of
language provokes a response in the
viewer. While her work often blends in
among advertisements in public space, its
arresting content violates expectations.
Holzer’s texts—such as the aphorisms
“Abuse of power comes as no surprise”
and “Protect me from what I want”—have
appeared on posters and condoms, and as
electronic LED signs and projections of
• Identify which artist belongs in each group:
Protests Against Military Action
Fighting for the Oppressed
Representing the underrepresented
Questioning the Status Quo
Francisco Goya, Kathe Kolwitz, Ai Weiwei,
Shepard Fairey, Jenny Holzer, Shirin Neshat, Cildo