The Capriccios by William Gropper is a series of fifty lithographs that was completed between 1953 and 1956. Gropper was subpoenaed to appear before Senator Joseph McCarthy's Subcommittee on Investigations in May 1953 to answer the allegation that his map painting William Gropper's America: Its Folklore distributed by the U.S. Department of State was inspired and backed by Communists. Gropper invoked the Fifth Amendment and refused to answer any questions. He was subsequently blacklisted. While unable to obtain public or private commissions readily because of this, Gropper found financial support from sympathetic individuals and created a series of lithographs inspired by Francisco de Goya's Los Caprichos, a series of satirical etchings depicting the political and social setting of late eighteenth-century Spain. Gropper expressed his own disdain for the American ideological culture of the 1950s in his variation entitled The Capriccios.
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