Heavier than a Dead Donkey, plate 1 from Los Proverbios

A work made of etching and aquatint, with scratches, in brown on ivory wove paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of etching and aquatint, with scratches, in brown on ivory wove paper.

Date:

1815–17, published 1864

Artist:

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

About this artwork

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.

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Prints and Drawings

Artist

Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes

Title

Heavier than a Dead Donkey, plate 1 from Los Proverbios

Origin

Spain

Date

1815–1817

Medium

Etching and aquatint, with scratches, in brown on ivory wove paper

Dimensions

215 x 324 mm (image); 245 x 355 mm (plate); 353 x 487 mm (sheet)

Credit Line

The Charles Deering Collection

Reference Number

1927.3304

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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