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Dream of Lies and Fickleness
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

Dream of Lies and Fickleness

1796 - 1797. Wash, Black chalk, Pencil, Bistre, Iron gall ink on laid paper.
Not on display

This is a preparatory drawing for an unpublished plate from Los Caprichos. The only remaining print of that plate is a single proof printed on the back of another etching at the Biblioteca Nacional (1797-1799, No. 45637; H 119.I.2). It is part of Dreams, a group of drawings that form the basis for Los Caprichos and were a customary subject for representations during that period. Dream of Lies and Fickleness appears to be earlier than the more elaborate and modern Sleep of Reason (Capricho 43, G02131 / Dream 1, The Author Dreaming, D03923) and may have been considered for the frontispiece, as lies and all sorts of fickleness are the fundamental narrative thread of all the Caprichos. Specialists disagree as to the identity of the figures in this preparatory drawing and the subsequent print. Some believe it depicts the Duchess of Alba and Goya (Lefort, 1862; Nordström, 1962; Gassier, 1975; Wilson-Bareu, 1992), while others see Godoy and Queen Marie Louise (period manuscripts; Glendining, 1976 as a political-moral satire, resorting to trickery in love in order to obtain power and wealth; Vega, 1996). This drawing, like The Sleep of Reason, appears to be a first step in Goya’s reflections about the artist’s role in criticizing and denouncing the immorality of his peers, but he uses it as a metaphor of human beings in general, and the drawing contains variants that complete the print’s meaning. Approached like the darkness of night, it establishes a simile between sleep or dreams and the human mind. In this sense, painting would act in the same way as eloquence and poetry to censure vice. In this, the only portrait in the composition, the artist depicts himself facing forward with perfectly defined features. His expression clearly reflects contentment, as if he had just caught the butterfly. In the etching, however, he appears in profile and his expression has become passionate and imploring. Goya only depicts himself in one other plate from the Caprichos: The Sleep of Reason (D04162/G02131), although he also appears in the Self-Portrait from the definitive frontispiece (G02089). The layout differs from that of The Sleep of Reason; rather than seated at a desk with papers on the floor, he sits in an empty, indeterminate space that represents dreaming while simultaneously suggesting that life is a journey, an idea reinforced by the presence of luggage in the form of bundles visible behind him. Thus, Goya proposes his art between the castle in the background -which he bases on the myth of Hero and Leander that he may have seen in the Carracci’s fresco at the Villa Farnese in Rome, or through a print (López-Rey, 1952) that symbolizes the purity to which he aspires but can only be reached on the wings of Invention -and the mask of the material possessions that accompany, trick and hinder him. A pair of two-faced female figures (Fraud or Trickery according to Cesare Ripa’s Iconologia) cloud the painter’s desires, pulling him away from the representation of painting’s grand ideals and leading him, instead, to compose vulgar deceits employed by custom, ignorance or interest. The first enchants him with her inspiration, encouraging his most noble intellectual and artistic ambitions, while the second traps him through his material appetites and vices, which occupy the scene’s foreground, because they are the most dangerous and vulgar: money, pleasures, interests, greed and trickery, as embodied by the mask and the animals. These creatures are the offspring of Lies and have emerged from among her skirts to take their place alongside her in the dirt. Lies is characterized according to the iconographic tradition for that allegorical figure, with an unattractive face and a toad for company, while Perfidy also has a double face and is holding snakes in her hand. The visual play reaches beyond established iconography, though, as Goya reuses the allegorical elements in a more open manner. At the right, a grotesque figure with a coarse and smiling visage that recalls an animal’s head acquires human form through folds in the cloth. While some historians see it as a mask (Carderera Manuscript, 1863; Nördstrom, 1962), others view its physiognomy as that of a panther, an animal that Western culture then considered a negative symbol. In fact, Ripa included it as an allegory of Deceit (Mena, 2006). Dream of Lies and Fickleness is one of the most theatrical images of all Goya’s etchings. It contains his own image, and communicates directly with the viewer via the painter’s lackey, whose gesture demands their silence so as not to reveal the deceit. It has been related to Capricho 61, Volaverunt and the latter’s preparatory drawing (G02149/D04223), as both contain the female figure with butterfly wings as well as a character calling for silence in Volaverunt, the latter figure takes the form of a witch floating in the air at the center of the composition. The drawing shows the mark of the plate, due to the pressure of the press when the image was transferred to the 218 x 152 mm copper plate (Text drawn from Mena, M., María Teresa de Silva, duquesa de Alba, y Francisco de Goya, pintor. II, Los poetas y la duquesa, in La duquesa de Alba, musa de Goya. El mito y la historia, Madrid: Museo del Prado, 2006, pp. 47-60, 64).


Technical data

Related artworks

Hombre con calavera
Red chalk on laid paper, Ca. 1797
Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de
Inventory number
Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de
Dream of Lies and Fickleness
1796 - 1797
Wash; Black chalk; Pencil; Bistre; Iron gall ink
Laid paper
Height: 238 mm; Width: 167 mm
Caprichos [dibujo]. Serie Los Sueños, 14
Javier Goya, Madrid, 1828; Mariano Goya, Madrid, 1854; Valentín Carderera, Madrid, c. 1861; Mariano Carderera, Madrid, 1880; Museo del Prado, 12-11-1886.

Bibliography +

Lefort, P, Essai d’un catalogue raisonné de l’oeuvre gravé et lithographié de Francisco de Goya. Première Partie. Pièces publiées en séries. Les Caprices. Nos 1 a 80, Gazette des beaux-arts, IX, 22, 1867, pp. 395.

Araujo Sánchez, Ceferino, Goya, La España Moderna, Madrid, 1896, pp. 123.

Beruete y Moret, A., Goya grabador, III, Blass y Cía, Madrid, 1918, pp. 61-62.

Ezquerra del Bayo, J., La duquesa de Alba y Goya. Estudio biográfico y artístico, Ruíz Hermanos, Madrid, 1928, pp. 186-187.

Sánchez Cantón, Francisco Javier, Sala de los dibujos de Goya, II, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1928, pp. 9, n.17.

Klingender, F.D., Goya in the Democratic Tradition, Sidgwick and Jackson Limited, Londres, 1948, pp. 89-90.

Sánchez Cantón, F.J., Los Caprichos de Goya y sus dibujos preparatorios, Instituto Amatller de Arte Hispánico, Barcelona, 1949, pp. 46, 103-104, n. 81.

Adhémar, J., Les Caprices de Goya, Fernad Hazan, Paris, 1951.

López-Rey, José, Goya's Caprichos: Beauty, Reason and Caricature, I, Princeton University Press, 1953, pp. 168, 213.

Nordström, F., Goya, Saturn and Melancholy. Studies in the Art of Goya, Almqvist & Wiksell, Estocolmo, 1962.

Harris, Tomas, Goya, engravings and lithographs, II, Bruno Cassirer, Oxford, 1964, pp. 162, n. 119.

Delteil, L., Goya. Le peintre graveur illustré (XIXe et XXe siécles). Reed., XIV, Collectors Editions Da Capo Press, Nueva York, 1969.

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. n. 620.

Buendía, J. R., El sueño de la mentira y de la inconstancia y sus raíces wattonianas, Goya, 100, 1971, pp. 240-245.

Gassier, Pierre, Dibujos de Goya. Estudios para grabados y pinturas, II, Noguer, Barcelona, 1973, pp. 101, n. 64.

Sayre, Eleanor A., The Changing Image: Prints by Francisco Goya, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston:, 1974, pp. 121, n. 92.

Gassier, Pierre, Vida y obra de Francisco de Goya: reproducción de su obra completa: pinturas, dibujos y grabados, Juventud, Barcelona, 1974, pp. n. 620.

Glendinning, Nigel, Imaginación de Goya: nuevas fuentes para algunos de sus dibujos y pinturas, Archivo Español de Arte, XLIX/195, 1976, pp. 284-286.

Glendinning, Nigel, Goya and his Critics, Yale University Press, New Haven; Londres, 1977.

Lafuente Ferrari, Enrique, Los Caprichos de Goya, Gustavo Gili, Barcelona, 1978, pp. 198.

Lafuente Ferrari, Enrique, El mundo de Goya en sus dibujos, Urbión, Madrid, 1979, pp. 115-117.

Salas, Xavier de, Goya. Das Zeitalter der Revolution 1789-1830, Prestel Verlag: Kunsthalle, Munich ; Hamburgo, 1980, pp. 102-103.

Hofmann, W., Goya. Das Zeitalter der Revolutionen.1789-1830, Prestel Verlag; Hamburger Kunsthalle, München, 1980, pp. 102-103, n. 40.

Paulson, Ronald, Goya and the Spanish Revolution, Representations of revolutions, Londres, 1983, pp. 324-325.

Glendinning, Nigel, Goya y sus críticos, Taurus, Madrid, 1983, pp. 181.

Helman, Edith, Trasmundo de Goya, Alianza Editorial, Madrid, 1983, pp. 92-93.

Helman, E., Algunos sueños y brujas de Goya. En: Goya. Nuevas visiones: homenaje a Enrique Lafuente Ferrari, 1987, pp. 197-205.

Nordström, F., Goya, Saturno y melancolía: estudios sobre el arte de Goya, Visor, Madrid, 1989, pp. 171-183, il. 71.

De Paz, Alfredo, Goya. Arte e Condizione Umana, Liguori Editore, Nápoles, 1990, pp. 225-227.

Wilson-Bareau, J., Goya: la década de los Caprichos. Dibujos y aguafuertes, Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, Madrid, 1992, pp. 63-65, n. 38.

Finkelstein, I.L., Goya Lepidopterist, Gazette des Beaux-Arts, 1993, pp. 232-244.

Vega, Jesusa, 'El sueño dibujado' En:, Realidad y sueño en los viajes de Goya. Actas de las I Jornadas de arte de Fuendetodos (1994)., Zaragoza, 1996, pp. 53-54, il. 22.

Carderera y Solano, Valentín, Estudios sobre Goya (1835-1885), Ricardo Centellas, Zaragoza: Institución Fernando el Católico, Zaragoza, 1996, pp. 73.

Blas, J.; Matilla, J. M.; Medrano, J. M., El Libro de los Caprichos: dos siglos de interpretaciones 1799-1999. Catálogo de los dibujos, pruebas de estado, láminas de cobre y estampas de la primera edición, Museo Nacional de Prado, Madrid, 1999, pp. 398-401.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Goya: del sueño al capricho: génesis de una serie de estampas, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 1999.

Bird, W., Two Rumours Concerning the Duchess of Alba: Volaverunt and Sueño de la mentira y la ynconstancia, Gazette des Beaux-Arts, CXXXVI, 2000, pp. 197-214.

Tomlinson, Janis, Goya: Images of Women, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 2002, pp. 275.

López Vázquez, J.M.B., Goya. Sueños y Caprichos. En: Goya y Dalí, Universidad Santiago de Compostela; Fundación Artes, Ribeira, 2004, pp. 143-157.

Mena Marqués, Manuela B., Goya: prophet der moderne, Dumont, Köln, 2005, pp. 182-183, n. 59.

Mena Marqués, Manuela B., La duquesa de Alba ''musa de Goya'' el mito y la historia, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2006, pp. 27-74, il. 12.

Prada Pareja, J., Goya y las pinturas negras desde la Psicología de Jung, Editores Asociados para la Divulgación Literaria, Madrid, 2008, pp. 123-125.

Matilla, José Manuel, 'Atribuído a Francisco de Goya. Paisaje con caserío, arbustos y pirámide' En:, Dibujos españoles en la Kunsthalle de Hamburgo, Museo Nacional del Prado Meadows Museum, Southern Methodist Univ. Hamburger Kunsthalle, Madrid, 2014, pp. 212.

Matilla, J.M. Mena M.B., Goya: dibujos. Solo la voluntad me sobra, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2019, pp. 350 nº 238.

Filigree +

Motive: Letra "H C Wend / & / Zoonen"

62 x 112 mm
6 - Verticales
26 mm.
En el centro, entre los corondeles 1 y 6
H.C. Wend & Zoonen
Bibliografía del dibujo, donde se hace referencia a la filigrana: Gassier 1975, vol. 2, p. 101, n. 64.
Las iniciales que aparecen en esta filigrana corresponden al comerciante de papel holandés Hendrik Christiaan Wend (o Went), activo en Ámsterdam desde 1754. No debe extrañar que un comerciante tuviera su propia marca de agua, y no el productor, pues se conocen otros ejemplos coetáneos como el de I.B. Dabyds o el de Daniel Sebille.

La primera noticia documental sobre Hendrik Christiaan Wend es un contrato firmado con el citado Daniel Sebille, fechado el 11 de febrero de 1754, en el que ambos acordaban la fundación de la compañía Sebille & Wend. Daniel Sebille provenía de una importante familia holandesa de comerciantes de papel, y al igual que ellos ejerció el mismo oficio, primero como socio de Wend y desde 1776, junto a Van Ketel y Wassenbergh . Por su lado Wend, después de separarse de Sebille, se asoció con sus hijos bajo el nombre H.C. Wend & Zoonen. Esta compañía consta en el registro de comerciantes de Ámsterdam desde 1776 y en los sucesivos años hasta 1814 .

Heawood, Edward, Watermarks, mainly of the 17th and 18th centuries, Paper Publications Society, Hilversum (Holland), 1950, pp. pl. 500, n. 3735 [año 1790].
Voorn, Henk, De papiermolens in de provincie Noord-Holland, Papierwereld,, Haarlem, 1960, pp. 205, n. 163 [año 1788].
Churchill, William Algernon, Watermarks in paper, in Holland, England, France, etc., in the XVII and XVIII centuries and their interconnection, B. De Graaf, Nieuwkoop, 1985, pp. 201 [D. Sebille & Wend, s.a.].
Voorn, Henk, De papiermolens in de provincie Gelderland, Haarlem Vereniging van Nederlandse Papier- en Kartonfabricken, Haarlem, 1985, pp. 162.
Biblioteca Nacional de España, Catálogo de las estampas de Goya en la Biblioteca Nacional, Biblioteca Nacional, Sociedad Estatal Goya 96 y Lunwerg, Madrid, 1996, pp. 303, n. 19 [D. Sebille & Wend, año h. 1791].

Other inventories +

Catálogo Gassier, 1975. Núm. II 64.

Colección Dibujos Goya (Numeración Sánchez Catón). Núm. 17.

Catálogo Goya, Pierre Gassier y Juliet Wilson. Núm. 620.

Inscriptions +

Inscribed. Front, lower central area

Sueño / De la mentira, y la ynconstancia
Inscribed in pencil. Front, lower central 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

Meta-painting. A Journey to the Idea of Art
15.11.2016 - 19.02.2017

Goya en Madrid. Cartones para tapices (1775-1794)
28.11.2014 - 03.05.2015

El Toro Mariposa
31.10.2007 - 03.02.2008

Goya - Profeta de la Modernidad (Berlín / Viena)
12.07.2005 - 03.10.2005

Goya´s Image of Women
Washington DC
10.03.2002 - 02.06.2002

Goya: la década de los Caprichos
26.10.1992 - 10.01.1993

Update date: 18-01-2023 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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