Artibus et Historiae no. 46 (XXIII)

2002, ISSN 0391-9064

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ALISA LUXENBERG - Further Light on the Critical Reception of Goya's Family of Charles IV as Caricature

Recent inquiry into the critical reception of Goya's Family of Charles IV as caricature traced a particular phrase, "a grocer and his family who have just won the big lottery prize," that appears in American art history survey textbooks, back to reported comments by Renoir in 1907. New research finds the phrase originated in an 1887 survey of Spanish art by the Belgian critic Lucien Solvay, who did not consider Goya's portrait to be caricature. This article explores the ways in which Solvay's phrase was borrowed and applied, and how these re-uses reflected a dramatic shift in interpreting Goya's painting.

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