He Can No Longer at the Age of Ninety-Eight

Object Details

Title:

He Can No Longer at the Age of Ninety-Eight

Artist/Maker(s):
Culture:

Spanish

Date:

about 1819 - 1823

Medium:

Brush and India ink

Dimensions:

23.3 x 14.4 cm (9 3/16 x 5 11/16 in.)

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An extremely aged figure of a man hobbles along with two canes, overwhelmed by the weight of his own body. Drawn from life, the figure presents a universal image of old age, while the inscription flatly describes physical and mental frailty and hints at sexual impotence. Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes made the drawing at age sixty and had himself survived a serious illness; along with several other studies of old people, he included this drawing in his now-dispersed "Album D."

For Goya, the paper played as strong a role as brush and india ink. He enhanced the old man's sense of isolation by placing him low on the page, allowing the blank background to suggest his loneliness. Blank paper evokes his bald head, and the india ink provided clean black strokes and exceptionally fine gray washes for the high dramatic contrasts Goya valued. Few of his more than a thousand known drawings are purely linear, fitting for the artist who first declared that nature contains no lines.

Provenance

Javier Goya y Bayeu

Paul Lebas

M. de Beurnonville, Paris

Private Collection, Switzerland

Ars Libri, Ltd., , Boston

April 3, 1877

Hôtel Drouot, lot 77

June 20, 1984

Galerie Kornfeld, Bern, lot 378

Exhibitions
Juanes to Goya: Spanish Drawings 1560 -1825 (September 14 to November 28, 1999)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), September 14 to November 28, 1999, (Cat.)
Mise-en-Page: The Art of Composing on Paper (December 17, 2002 to March 9, 2003)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 17, 2002 to March 9, 2003, (Cat.)
Window onto Spain: Drawings and Prints from Ribera to Goya (February 17 to May 16, 2004)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), February 17 to May 16, 2004, (Cat.)
A Revolutionary Age: Drawing in Europe, 1770-1820 (January 18 to May 1, 2005)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), January 18 to May 1, 2005, (Cat.)
A Light Touch: Exploring Humor in Drawing (September 23 to December 7, 2008)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), September 23 to December 7, 2008, (Cat.)