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Cruel Folly
Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de
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Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de

Fuendetodos, Zaragoza (Spain), 1746 - Bordeaux (France), 1828

Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de See author's file

Cruel Folly

1815 - 1819. Red wash, Red chalk on laid paper.
Not on display

A preparatory drawing for Disparates, 6, Cruel Folly. The title of the plate comes from an artist’s proof now at the Museo Lázaro Galdeano in Madrid. Before this state proof with the handwritten title, Cruel Folly came to light, Beruete and Camón Aznar called the plate Foolish Fury because of its protagonist’s appearance. They described him as a furious man with bulging eyes and hair standing on end who has knocked down one man with a monkey’s face and is now holding a pike with which he is about to attack another who is prepared to repel that aggression. The other figures appear either contrite or frightened and various are leaving with bowed heads, as they understand that there is no way this is going to end well. Despite being one of the drawings with the clearest graphic definition, it was significantly modified after its transfer to the engraving plate (G02174). There, the scene becomes nocturnal and the soldier’s shed turns into a ruinous wall on the outskirts of the city, while the figure in the foreground now holds a rifle. At first he held a pike, as he does in the drawing, but Goya added thick strokes of red chalk to suggest the form of the rifle butt and trigger guard. The engraving also has an added figure dramatically entangled in the protagonist’s his legs, while the man who had fallen to the ground amidst other figures in the drawing’s central group has now disappeared. Finally, the man at the right of the drawing, with his head bowed and his hands in his pockets, has been transformed into a cloaked figure that mysteriously turns his back on the furious protagonist. Cloaked figures like the one on the right are customary in Goya’s work, especially in his Caprichos, and they are always associated with lies and irrationality, just as male figures with their hands on their waist and their legs spread have been associated with sexual relaxation—for example in the print titled And his house burns (G02106), or various drawings, including Three Gentlemen and Three Ladies Dancing (D04376) and Blind Man in Love with his Filly (D04044). As with the other Disparates, it is difficult to explain the print’s subject. Valeriano Bozal considers it a street fight: yet another tense, furious depiction of violent emotions and of violence itself, an image of one aspect of everyday life made universal by the location and its darkness. (Text from: Matilla, J.M.: Disparate cruel, in: Goya en tiempos de Guerra, Madrid, Museo del Prado, 2008).


Technical data

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Cruel Folly
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Inventory number
Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de
Cruel Folly
1815 - 1819
Red wash; Red chalk
Laid paper
Height: 244 mm; Width: 354 mm
Disparates [dibujo], 6
Javier Goya, Madrid, 1828; Mariano Goya, Madrid, 1854; Valentín Carderera, Madrid, c. 1861; Mariano Carderera; Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1880; Museo del Prado, 12-11-1886.

Bibliography +

D'Achiardi, Pierre, Les dessins de D. Francisco de Goya y Lucientes au Musée du Prado à Madrid, D. Anderson, Roma, 1908, pp. il. CV.

Mayer, August L., Francisco de Goya, Labor, Barcelona, 1925, pp. 231, nº 222.

Sánchez Cantón, Francisco Javier, Sala de los dibujos de Goya, II, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1928, pp. 30, nº 192.

Camón Aznar, José, Los disparates de Goya y sus dibujos preparatorios, Instituto Amatller de Arte Hispánico, Barcelona, 1951, pp. 57-60, [124].

Uberwasser, Goya. Gemälde. Zeichnungen. Graphik. Tapisserien, Kunsthalle Basel, Basilea, 1953, pp. 91, nº 125.

Sánchez Cantón, Francisco Javier, Los dibujos de Goya, reproducidos a su tamaño y en su color. Estudios para Los Caprichos, Los Desastres de la guerra, La Tauromaquia y dibujos no grabados, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1954, pp. nº 385.

Delteil, Loys, Goya. Facs. 1922, Collectors Editions, Da Capo Press, Nueva York, 1969, pp. nº 207.

Gassier, Pierre y Wilson-Bareau, Juliet, Vie et oeuvre de Francisco de Goya: l`oeuvre complet illustré: peintures, dessins, gravures, Office du Livre, Fribourg, 1970, pp. nº 1580.

Gassier, Pierre, Vida y obra de Francisco de Goya: reproducción de su obra completa: pinturas, dibujos y grabados, Juventud, Barcelona, 1974, pp. 325, nº 1580.

Gassier, Pierre, Dibujos de Goya. Estudios para grabados y pinturas, II, Noguer, Barcelona, 1975, pp. 440-441, nº 294.

Holo, S., Goya. Los Disparates, Washington State University Press, Washington, 1976, pp. 31, il. 13.

Camón Aznar, José, Francisco de Goya, IV, Caja de Ahorros de Zaragoza, Aragón y Rioja, Zaragoza, 1980-1982, pp. 90.

Bozal, Valeriano, Imagen de Goya, Lumen, Madrid, 1983, pp. 260, il. 105.

Mena Marqués, Manuela B., Goya, Electa, Roma, 2000, pp. 122-123, nº 38.

Matilla, José Manuel, ''Disparate cruel'', en: Goya en tiempos de guerra, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2008, pp. 478-479, nº 177, il. 177-1.

Ackley, C.S., 'Other worlds, other states. Etched absurdities' En:, Goya: Order & Disorder, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 2014, pp. 264-271 [266 n.177].

Matilla, J.M. Mena M.B., Goya: dibujos. Solo la voluntad me sobra, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2019, pp. 325 nº 218.

Filigree +

Motive: Letra "MANUEL SERRA" (mitad izquierda)

22 x 84 mm
24 mm.
Centro del margen izquierdo
Manuel Serra
Marca de agua "MANUEL -- SERRA" del papelero Manuel Serra y Franch, miembro de la dinastía de papeleros apellidados Serra, afincada en los molinos de Cap de Pont y Orpí en la rivera del río Carme, en Capellades (Barcelona), desde 1786 y durante las dos décadas iniciales del XIX. Manuel trabajó en Capellades durante las primeras décadas del siglo XIX. En 1827 ya figuraba su viuda como continuadora del negocio, pues así consta en la Exposición de la Industria de ese año, donde la Viuda de Serra y Franch recibió una mención honorífica por su producción de papel (Memoria de la Junta de Calificacion de los productos de la industria española remitidos á la Esposicion pública de 1827, Madrid, Imprenta de D.L. Amarita, 1828, p. 58).

Biblioteca Nacional España, Ydioma Universal: Goya en la Biblioteca Nacional, Biblioteca Nacional Lunwerg, Madrid, 1996, pp. 307, fil. 35.

Other inventories +

Catálogo Gassier, 1975. Núm. II 294.

Colección Dibujos Goya (Numeración Sánchez Catón). Núm. 192.

Catálogo Goya, Pierre Gassier y Juliet Wilson. Núm. 1580.

Inscriptions +

Inscribed. Back, central area

Inscribed. Back, lower area

Inscribed. Front, lower left corner

Inscribed. Back, lower area

Inscribed. Back, Upper area

Exhibitions +

Goya. Drawings. "Only my Strength of Will Remains"
20.11.2019 - 16.02.2020

Solo la voluntad me sobra. Dibujos de Francisco de Goya
19.11.2019 - 16.02.2020

Le crepuscule de la raison
15.10.2001 - 15.01.2002

Goya - Roma
16.03.2000 - 06.06.2000

Update date: 07-07-2022 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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