26 – Ya tienen asiento (Now they are settled down)
This is one of the strangest prints in the series, and one I have struggled to make sense of, even with the aid of Goya’s notes.
Two young women in see-through capes that reveal their bare legs and lower stomachs have chairs balanced upon their heads, while two men stand behind, laughing at them. The image revolves around a play on the Spanish verb asentarse, which means both to sit and to settle down – I think the chairs are supposed to represent a chance for stability and settled living which the young women have spurned by placing the chairs on their heads.
Goya’s notes indicate a censorious attitude towards the way some young women of his day rushed to take lovers: ‘Some impudent and inconsiderate girls . . . are so desperate to reveal their lower bodies, that they do not notice the rogues that mock them.’