A man asleep dreaming of monsters. Aquatint by F. Goya, 1796/98.

  • Goya, Francisco, 1746-1828.
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About this work


One of the many versions of the Horatian concept of monsters of the imagination, which are created by the dreams of sick and delirious men (Juliet Wilson Bareau, 'Goya's prints')



Physical description

1 print : aquatint, with etching ; platemark 22 x 15.2 cm


El sueño de la razón produce monstruos. Bears number: 43


"Los Caprichos" are a set of eighty etchings/aquatints made by Francisco Goya y Lucientes between the years 1796-98. They were first published and advertised for sale in Madrid papers in 1799. Very few copies were purchased and in 1803, having sold only twenty-seven copies, Goya offered the copperplates together with 240 unsold sets to Charles IV in exchange for a pension for his son, Javier. The next edition was published in the mid-nineteenth century and the last edition was made in Madrid in 1937, during the Spanish Civil War. Goya made these prints after a serious illness that rendered him deaf. The prints are of satirical nature, part fantasy being full of witches, monsters, grotesques, prostitutes and part men part beast figures. They were in part a series of caricatures which satirise the vices and follies of Spanish society, illustrated by witches sporting monk's habits. The words of the inscriptions themselves imply double meanings, which reinforce the satire


Wellcome Collection 36752i



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