Francisco de Goya (1746-1828)

Loyalty, Plate 17 from ‘The Proverbs’

Spain, about 1816

Etching with aquatint and drypoint

244 X 357 MM

Goya’s final series of etchings, The Proverbs (Los Proverbios), also known as Disparetes or Absurdities, remain his most mysterious and enigmatic.

Featuring a group of monks and friars, Loyalty appears to be concerned with the licentious behaviour of those in religious orders. This strange group evokes a sense of the carnivalesque, a world turned upside down, though the exact meaning remains unclear. The series was not printed during the artist’s lifetime.

Purchased 1956 (No. 56.13)


We show a rotating selection of works on paper in our two dedicated exhibition spaces.If you wish to view a work not currently on display, you can make an appointment to see it in the Prints and Drawings Study Room, which is equipped with viewing lecterns and a study/seminar table.


The study room is open to students, scholars and members of the general public, individually or in small groups, by prior appointment only. The room has tables and chairs to facilitate private study or seminars.


Open Monday to Friday, 10am – 1pm and 2 – 4.30pm

Groups welcome – but limited to 12 people at any one time, please!


Appointments: or +44 (0)121 414 7350

Related Posts