Inscription on plate: Cum privil fa. Cae. Mtis. / HGoltzius Inuentor / Adrianus Matham sculptor Iac. Matham excud. 1620 / Felis illa aetas, omnique beatior aevo / Saturno regnante fuit, cum Saecula iuberent / Aurea Securam mortalus ducere vitam: / Sponte sua tellus, sine rastro et vomeris vsu, / Omnigenas fundebat fundebat opes, nec flumina lactus, / Nec latices decrant nunqua maerentis Facchi: / Mellag(?) de viridi stillabant roscida quereu / Aureus hanc vitam in terris, Saturnus agebat. / Th. Schrevelius Collector's stamp, l.l.: Lugt 150a, A. Maroni Watermark (unclear): shield over three balls
Monogrammed, r.c.: D G R (circular monogram) Inscribed, near top: It isn't a bit like but beastly.. I only send it supposing you shouldn't wish it to go into/ the fire, but if you do, put it there. Some day I'll do a better, says your DGR. Stamp on mat: emblem with a horse
A man in a white robe is seated with his back against a wooden post. In his hands he holds a crucifix; the scene is illuminated by a large candlestick at the left of the image.
One of Goya's first prints, and one not included in any of his published series such as the "Caprichos" or "Proverbios", this harsh scene depicts a man executed by strangulation, a form of capital punishment in Spain.
A drawing in the British Museum seems to have been used as a template for the print, as there are clear tracing marks, and seems to have been the only instance of Goya tracing a drawing for use in making a print (see Tomás Harris, "Goya, Engravings and Lithographs", San Francisco: Alan Wofsy Fine Arts, 1983, p. 41.)
Signed and dated in German script, in pencil, l.r. margin: Johs Molzahn - 20 Dated, titled and numberd, l.l. margin: Jo 11-20/XXVII Ferntaster II (German script) Custom's stamp in blue on reverse of print and mat: circle, eagle, Zollamt München-Post (?)