About This Artwork

Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (Spanish, 1746–1828)
printed by François Liénard (French, active 1860s–1880s)

Fool’s Folly, from Disparates, 1816–19, published 1877

Etching and burnished aquatint in black on Japanese paper
212 x 324 mm (image); 245 x 345 mm (plate); 283 x 375 mm (sheet)

Charles Deering Print Sale Fund, 1938.174

In this ludicrous vision, bulls tumble effortlessly in the air, completely unfazed by the fact that they are bobbing like balloons. This print is from an enigmatic series that Goya began in his late 70s but never finished before moving to France. Titled Disparates, which roughly translates to nonsense, absurdity, or fantasy, the series would have included at least 25 images, but only 22 plates are known to exist. Fool’s Folly is one of four plates that were separated from the 18 printed posthumously by the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando. It was not printed until almost 50 years after Goya’s death.

Interpretive Resources

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