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The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters (El sueño de la razon produce monstrous)

Francisco de Goya achieved great success as a court painter to the Spanish Bourbons in Madrid in the late eighteenth century. However, after a debilitating illness in the winter of
1792–93 left him physically weakened and deaf, he became increasingly disillusioned with aristocratic Spanish society. Los Caprichos, Goya’s satirical commentary on the mores of his time, consists of brief enigmatic statements that are amplified in meaning by the accompanying pictures. Although the caprichos were sold as sets of eighty individual plates, they had the basic structure of a printed book. This well-known plate is from a complete set of early proofs (some with spelling errors in the captions) in its original eighteenth-century binding. The book also includes a trimmed impression of one of Goya’s earliest etchings, The Garroted Man (El agarrotado) (ca. 1778–80).

Francisco de Goya
Spanish, 1746–1828
The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters (El sueño de la razon produce monstrous), Plate 43 from Los Caprichos
1796–98; published 1799
Etching and aquatint on paper
Image: 7 1/8 x 4 13/16 in. (18.0 x 12.2 cm); plate: 8 3/8 x 5 15/16 in. (21.3 x 15.1 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, 75.81.43