The Queen and Godoy – 5

5 – Tal para cual (Two of a kind)

The fifth print of Los Caprichos shows a pair of lovers greeting each other. Behind them sit two old women who act as the lovers’ go-betweens, transmitting the written and oral messages by which the lovers arrange their illicit meetings. Goya writes, ‘Many times the5 - Tal_para_cual question has been posed – who is more prone to vice: men or women? The vices of each come from a poor upbringing and wherever men are perverse, women will be so also. As for the old women in the picture, one is just as wicked as the other.’

However, in another set of Goya’s notes (maintained now by the Spanish Biblioteca Nacional) Goya reveals the figures actually represent the then Spanish queen, Maria Luisa, and her alleged lover (and eventual Spanish prime minister) Manuel Godoy. Goya writes of the print, ‘The Queen and Godoy, when he was a guardsman, being laughed at by two washerwomen who are pretending to pray the rosary’.

 

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