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Folly of fear
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

Folly of fear

1815 - 1819. Etching, Aquatint, Burnisher, Drypoint, Retroussage on ivory paper. Not on display

Disparates, 2, Folly of fear, belongs to a series that Goya began in 1815 as a faithful reflection of his historical and personal context when, in the aftermath of the Peninsular War, he witnessed the collapse of part of the progressive world with which he somehow felt personally identified. He probably worked on this series until 1819, when political changes associated with the triumph of General Rafael Riego led to the proclamation of the Constitution of 1812 and a hopeful mood in which the oppressive atmosphere of the Disparates was out of place. Unfinished and incomprehensible, these works broke with what was then the official propagandistic version of events depicted by other engravers at a time of personal adulation of Ferdinand VII. This series reveals an artist who gives free rein to his creativity. The subjects that seem to bring meaning and unity to this series convey universal criticism of the essence of the human being, including fears, violence, beliefs, vices and errors. Also closely linked to the Disasters and to Goya’s painting, The 2 of May, are the soldier wielding a saber and the figure whose hands are joined in a plea for clemency. Moreover, the accumulation of figures along the entire horizon produces a greater feeling of crowding. Phantasms—beings with a false appearance that produce fear or devotion—had already appeared in previous works by Goya, including some prints from the Caprichos that criticize superstitions and the trickery of false religious beliefs. The present work, whose title was suggested by Beruete, has been the object of various interpretations, from those that view it in the context of the Peninsular War to those that see it as a parody of Ferdinand VII frightening liberal soldiers. Whatever Goya’s starting point may have been, the result is a disturbing image in which the natural order of things has been undermined. Thus, rather than displaying discipline and valor, these soldiers lie on top of each other on the ground, terrified by a puppet-like figure that is not what it appears to be (Text from Matilla, J.M.: Disparate de miedo, in: Goya en tiempos de Guerra, Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2008).


Technical data

Related artworks

Folly of fear
Wash on ivory laid paper, 1815 - 1819
Folly of fear
Etching on wove paper, 1815 - 1819
Inventory number
Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de
Folly of fear
1815 - 1819
Etching; Aquatint; Burnisher; Drypoint; Retroussage
Ivory paper
Height: 337 mm.; Width: 502 mm.; Height of the plate mark: 244 mm.; Width of the plate mark: 353 mm.
Disparates [estampa], 2
Collection of Madrazo; Collection of Daza-Campos, Madrid; Acquisition 2006

Bibliography +

Beruete y Moret, Aureliano de, Goya grabador, III, Blass y Cía, Madrid:, 1918, pp. 107, nº 186, il. 47-2.

Loga, Valerian von, Francisco de Goya, G. Grotesche, Berlin, 1921, pp. nº 698.

Young, Blamire, The Proverbs of Goya, Jonathan Cape, Londres:, 1923, pp. 86-93.

Mayer, August L., Francisco de Goya, Labor, Barcelona, 1925, pp. 277, nº V (698)-2, il. 388.

Camón Aznar, José, Los disparates de Goya y sus dibujos preparatorios, Instituto Amatller de Arte Hispánico, Barcelona, 1951, pp. 76-79, [167-169], nº 13.

Delteil, Loys, Goya. Facsimil 1922, Collectors editions; Da Capo Press, Nueva York, 1969, pp. nº 203.

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 1573.

Sayre, Eleanor A., The Changing Image. Prints by Francisco Goya, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston:, 1974, pp. 252-255, nº 203-206.

Gassier, Pierre, Vida y obra de Francisco de Goya: reproducción de su obra completa: pinturas, dibujos y grabados, Juventud, Barcelona, 1974, pp. nº 1573.

Gassier, Pierre, Dibujos de Goya. Estudios para grabados y pinturas, II, Noguer, Barcelona, 1975, pp. 434-435, nº 291.

Holo, Selma Reuben, Goya. Los Disparates, Museum of Art, Washington State University Press, Washington:, 1976, pp. 9.

Hofmann, W., ''Disparate de miedo'', en: Goya. Das Zeitalter der Revolution 1789-1830, Prestel Verlag; Hamburguer Kunsthalle, Munich; Hamburgo, 1980, pp. 197, nº 147.

Camón Aznar, José, Francisco de Goya, IV, Caja de Ahorros de Zaragoza, Aragón y Rioja, Zaragoza, 1982, pp. 88-89.

Harris, Tomas, Goya. Engravings and lithographs, II, Alan Wofsy Fine Arts, San Francisco:, 1983, pp. 374-375, nº 249.

Glendinning, Nigel, ''La problemática historia de los Disparates y su interpretación carnavalesca'', en: Francisco de Goya grabador. Instantáneas. Disparates, III, Caser, Madrid:, 1992, pp. 19-32, [27 y 28].

Vega, Jesusa, Museo del Prado: catálogo de estampas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1992, pp. 108-109, nº 436.

Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso E., ''Disparates'', en: Goya grabador, Fundación Juan March, Madrid:, 1994, pp. 198-219, [202].

Biblioteca Nacional, Catálogo de las estampas de Goya en la Biblioteca Nacional, Biblioteca Nacional, Sociedad Estatal Goya 96 y Lunwerg, Madrid, 1996, pp. 235, nº 375.

Carrete, J., Matilla, J.M., Aullón de Haro, P., Bozal, V., Glendinning, N. y Vega, J., Disparates, Francisco Goya. Tres visiones, Calcografía Nacional, Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, Madrid:, 1996, pp. 105, 109, [118-119, 160-161], nº 2 y 22.

Biblioteca Nacional España, Ydioma Universal: Goya en la Biblioteca Nacional, Biblioteca Nacional Lunwerg, Madrid, 1996, pp. 264-265, nº 297-298, il. 23 (p. 30-31).

Fundación Lázaro Galdiano, Goya en la Fundación Lázaro Galdiano, Fundación Lázaro Galdiano, Madrid:, 1999, pp. 202, 204-205, nº 46.

Goya, Electa, Roma:, 2000, pp. 114-115, nº 34.

Calcografía Nacional, Calcografía Nacional. Catálogo general, II, Real Academia de San Fernando, Madrid, 2004, pp. 483, nº 3974.

Aldea, E., Disparate de miedo. Una crítica política bajo un velo de hermetismo, Romance Quarterly, 54, 2007, pp. 17-22.

Matilla, José Manuel, ''Disparate de miedo'', en: Goya: en tiempos de guerra, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid:, 2008, pp. 474-475, nº 175.

Prada Pareja, Javier de, Goya y las Pinturas Negras desde la psicología de Jung, Editores Asociados para la Divulgación Literaria, Madrid:, 2008, pp. 243-247.

Rodríguez Torres, María Teresa (1943-), Goya. Heraldos de una colecta gráfica, Villaverde, Madrid:, 2009, pp. 116-118.

Vega, Jesusa, Ciencia, arte e ilusión en la España ilustrada, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas y Ediciones Polifemo, Madrid:, 2010, pp. 478-480, il. 295.

Other inventories +

Inv. Nuevas Adquisiciones (iniciado en 1856). Núm. 2756.

Inscriptions +

Inscribed. Back, lower left corner


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Update date: 01-04-2021 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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