Plucked Clean – 20

20 –Ya van desplumados (Off they go, plucked clean)

This print serves as a companion to the previous one, and is another denunciation of organised prostitution. A pair of prostitutes armed with brooms are throwing out three of the featherless bird/human hybrids seen in print 19, overseen by two men in friars’ robes with rosary beads around their waists.

The bird-hybrids leave with their heads hung in shame, doubtless because they have spent every penny they had in the brothel and now find themselves turned away. The presence of the friars is a reference to the double standards of the church at the time: the friars laugh at the fate of the shamed clients, but are doubtless clients themselves (they are specifically mentioned as so in Goya’s notes to print 19).

Goya writes, ‘Once the clients have been plucked clean . . . the whores use brooms to chuck them out. Two reverend friars . . . watch from behind, enjoying the uproar’.

20 - Ya_van_desplumados

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