About This Artwork

Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes
Spanish, 1746-1828

The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters, plate 43 from Los Caprichos, 1797/99

Etching and aquatint on ivory laid paper
180 x 120 mm (image); 212 x 150 mm (plate); 303 x 198 mm (sheet)

The Charles Deering Collection, 1927.3241

Hovering between the grotesque and the comical, Francisco de Goya’s series Los caprichos (Whims or Fantasies) consists of 80 etchings satirizing Spanish society during the late 18th century. For this iconic image, which may have been intended as the title page of the series, Goya represented himself as an artist who has fallen asleep at his drawing table. In the background are his nightmares, the macabre tormenters that pervade the rest of these prints.

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