Francisco de Goya

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos (The sleep of reason produces monsters)


Delteil 80; Harris 78 III, 1. Auflage (von 12).


Sheet 43 from the series: Los Caprichos. Excellent, velvety black early impression from the first edition, published by the artist in Madrid, 1799. The light grey aquatint in the sky very well and evenly drawn, the inscription at the end of the desk still clear and distinct.
The present print reflects the world of nightmares. Goya does not transform reason into truth and he refrains from condemning the monsters. He shows them and presents the world of the night, which is characteristic of all caprichos – a reversal of the day. In the battle between light and shadow, the latter has triumphed, the world ordered by reason has perished and is now inhabited by animals. This is the only depiction from the series of 80 Engravings in total that does not have a caption at the bottom; instead, the inscription is engraved on the side of the desk. The Engraving was originally intended as the frontispiece of the series. However, the set published in 1799 was published with the artist’s self-portrait, depicted as a gentleman. The 1st edition was probably published in between 275 and 300 copies. In October 1803, Goya gave the plates, together with 240 unsold copies, to the administration of the royal household of Carlos IV for a pension of 12,000 reales in favour of his son Francisco Javier. With a wide margin around the platemark, the left edge somewhat trimmed. – Isolated, faintly visible brown spots. Two slight creases in the lower margin due to printing, otherwise in good condition.
Very rare!

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