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Growing after death
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

Growing after death

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

This preparatory drawing for an unpublished plate from the Caprichos is one of twenty-six pen-and-ink drawings known as The Dreams, which constitute the basis for Los Caprichos. They are headed by Dream 1, the author dreaming (D03923), which presents a customary subject from that period. Growing after death can be interpreted from a socio-political standpoint, in the sense that, throughout history, it has been customary to praise the dead. Here, the gigantic figure reduced to skin and bones in the foreground is the deceased, and he is being carried by six smaller individuals whose origins and postures vary. The mummy wears a strange, mussed wig, indicating that he was a person of some importance. His archaic clothing recalls an earlier time than the drawing: a sumptuous buttoned frock coat with wide, turned cuffs, beneath which the points of a long vest are visible, along with tight breeches, stockings, a ruff collar and lace cuffs, and buckled shoes. Further back, to the left, a hybrid writer-reader bears the giant’s biography. He does not seem to belong to any specific political movement (an example of Goya’s universal character) but he will exaggerate, adulterate or rewrite whatever seems necessary in order to continue living in the shadow of the deceased, who lies at the origin of his corrupt interests. The other figures, whose postures are clearly uncomfortable, are complicit in that forced fame. The clergyman standing in the background to the left cooperates in this praise of the mummy’s virtues. Another individual, in the middle ground to the right, takes shelter behind the nobleman, keeping him firm as a flag for his own benefit, and he will do whatever is necessary to keep this from ending. The Museo del Prado has one work related to Dream 16: a preparatory drawing that was never engraved, titled Man with a skull, which is on the back of the study, Who will the ghost look at (D04374). (Text from: Rodríguez Torres, M.T.: Goya: heraldos de una colecta gráfica, Madrid: Villaverde, 2009, pp. 14-19).


Technical data

Inventory number
Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de
Growing after death
1796 - 1797
Pencil; Iron gall ink; Black chalk lines
Laid paper
Height: 237 mm.; Width: 166 mm.
Caprichos [dibujo]. Serie Los Sueños, 16
Javier Goya, Madrid, 1828; Mariano Goya, Madrid, 1854; Valentín Carderera, Madrid, c. 1861; Mariano Carderera, Madrid, 1880; Museo del Prado, 1886.

Bibliography +

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 627.

Gassier, Pierre, Dibujos de Goya. Tomo.II. Estudios para grabados y pinturas, II, Noguer, Barcelona, 1973, pp. 89.

Sayre, Eleanor A., The Changing Image. Prints by Francisco Goya, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1974, pp. nº 91.

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. 41-67 [52 f.8].

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. 407.

Rodríguez Torres, María Teresa, Goya : heraldos de una colecta gráfica, Villaverde, Madrid, 2009, pp. 14-19.

Other inventories +

Colección Dibujos Goya (Numeración Sánchez Catón). Núm. 18.

Catálogo Goya, Pierre Gassier y Juliet Wilson. Núm. 627.

Catálogo Gassier, 1975. Núm. II 52.

Inscriptions +

Inscribed in pencil. Front, upper central area

Inscribed in pencil. Front, lower left corner

Sueño / Crecer despues de morir.
Inscribed in pencil. Front, lower central area


There are no temporary exhibitions related to this work

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

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