Fool's Folly (Disparate de tontos)
From the series Los Disparates

Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes, Spanish, 1746 - 1828

Made in Madrid, Spain, Europe

c. 1815-1823, printed posthumously before 1877

Etching and aquatint

Plate: 9 1/2 x 13 7/8 inches (24.1 x 35.2 cm)

Curatorial Department:
Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with the Joseph E. Temple Fund and the Edgar Viguers Seeler Fund, 1948

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This etching belongs to a never-completed print series “Los Disparates (The Follies)”, made by Goya late in his life and published posthumously as Los Proverbios (The Proverbs). The compositions suggest satirical messages that are not always easily deciphered, yet seem to address themes of foolishness, misrepresentation, abuse of authority (political or religious), fears, and fantastic dreams. Goya is known for his innovative and skillful manipulation of broad areas of continuous tone using aquatint, an etching method previously employed by printmakers to imitate ink wash drawings. In “Los Disparates,” Goya’s expressive application of aquatint adds texture and defines space in ways that heighten the sense of disorientation and absurdity in his subjects.