Goya's Caprichos first printing auctions for $261,500

A first printing of Francisco de Goya's Caprichos has sold for $261,568 to lead Ketterer Kunst's Old Masters sale.

The collection of 80 aquatint etchings, published in 1799, beat its $198,574 high estimate by 31.7% at the November 22 auction in Germany.

Goya Caprichos
Goya's Caprichos displayed life in Madrid, 'with all its immoralities and obscenities'

The rarity of the publication helped it to its strong performance. The Spanish artist produced just 300 first editions of the Caprichos, which aimed to portray faults with Spanish society.

"It was the Caprichos that made Goya the main protagonist of satirical graphic art," said the auction house prior to the sale.

"Life in Madrid, with all its immoralities and obscenities, provided the basis for these at times vicious but always ingenious observations he captured on 80 sheets."

Another set of the 300 first editions auctioned for $181,750 at Sotheby's in 2002.

Many commentators view Goya (1746-1828) as a link between the old masters and the moderns, making his works of particular importance.

Goya's artworks seldom appear for sale; only a dozen major pieces have auctioned in the past 20 years.

Maurice Denis Dans la foret
Maurice Denis’ Dans la Foret sold for $130,784

His Bajar rinendo sold for £2.2m ($3.4m) at Christie's in 2008, which remains a record for a Goya work on paper.

Maurice Denis' Dans la Foret (Baignade a la Mare aux Canes) headlined Ketterer Kunst's Art of the 19th Century  sale, which also took place on November 22.

The 1898 work auctioned for $130,784, beating its $20,100 estimate by 550.6%.

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