About This Artwork

Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (Spanish, 1746-1828)
published by the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando (Spanish, founded 1744)

Feminine Folly, from Disparates, published as plate 1 in Los Proverbios (Proverbs), 1815–17, published 1864

Etching and aquatint, with scratches, in brown on ivory wove paper
215 x 324 mm (image); 245 x 355 mm (plate); 353 x 487 mm (sheet)

The Charles Deering Collection, 1927.3304

Four decades after the artist’s death, the Royal Academy of Fine Arts acquired 18 intaglio plates from an unfinished series by Goya. In an attempt to ascribe a theme to their enigmatic imagery, the prints were published with the title Los Proverbios (Proverbs). A handful of early trial proofs were later discovered on which the artist had inscribed Disparate, which roughly translates as folly, nonsense, absurdity, or fantasy. In this print, a group of women use a blanket to toss straw or rag dolls in the air. Hidden in the blanket are a muscular figure and a donkey. Inscriptions on proof print read, “The game is played with asses,” perhaps referring to the gullibility of those who fall for female trickery.

Interpretive Resources

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