The Unhappy Bride – 14

14 – ¡Qué sacrificio! (What a sacrifice!)

Goya returns to the theme of marriages of convenience in the 14th print in the Los 14 - Qué_sacrificioCaprichos series. The hunchbacked, bow-legged bridegroom is grotesquely represented, fawning before his young wife, who turns aside with a look of profound unhappiness. The bride’s parents stand behind the couple (the mother covers her face with her hand, perhaps in sympathy with her daughter’s plight) while a priest watches over the marriage.

Goya touched on arranged marriages in print number 2. However, in this print Goya’s sympathies are with the young bride. He writes, ‘Vile self-interest obliges the parents to sacrifice a young and beautiful daughter by giving her away in marriage . . . the bridegroom is not exactly of the most appealing type, but he is rich and in exchange for the liberty of an unhappy girl, a hungry family buys itself some help.’


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