Prison – 22

22 – ¡Pobrecitas! (Poor little girls!)

The fourth consecutive print to deal with the theme of prostitution, and the second in which Goya’s sympathies lie entirely with the women. In this print, Goya adopts a more realistic style, depicting two women, their heads hooded and bowed, being taken through the stone entrance arch of a prison by men wearing the uniforms of bailiffs.

Goya’s notes highlight how the print is intended to draw attention to another of the double standards of his time: while society deemed it as (tacitly) permissible for a rich woman to have lovers, those women driven to prostitution by poverty and hunger were imprisoned. He writes, ‘Those unfortunates who become prostitutes – usually due to the misery of circumstance – are imprisoned whenever the bailiffs feel like it . . . because laws are made only for the poor’.

22 - ¡Pobrecitas!

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