24 – No hubo remedio (It had to be done)

The second consecutive print to criticise the practices of the Spanish Inquisition (and another with an ironic title). In print 24 of Los Caprichos, we see a woman mounted upon a donkey wearing a coraza, the distinctive cone-shaped hat decorated all over with devils and flames that victims of the Inquisition were forced to wear. Two stern-faced bailiffs ride behind her, while a mocking mob surges around the donkey.

Goya’s notes make it clear he despised such deliberate acts of public humiliation (which he describes as a ‘life sentence’) and praises the way the woman maintains her dignity. ‘After passing judgement on this good and noble woman, they bring her forth in triumph . . . wearing a coraza in an effort to bow her head in shame. But they are wasting their time, for those that have no reason to be ashamed do not feel it.

24 - Nothing_could_be_done_about_it_LACMA_63_11_24

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