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The kidnapping horse
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

The kidnapping horse

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

Disparates, 10, The Kidnapping Horse, closely resembles Folly of Fear (D04274) in its technique, with light reddish washes to define the wooded background and more intense washes for the figures. Its notable similarity to the corresponding engraving (G02178) reveals that Goya conceived this drawing with considerable compositional clarity, unlike others in the series. However, he made significant changes that affect the print’s definitive meaning: the man who has fallen at the horse’s feet has been replaced by a monstrous head with a human figure inside it. The trees in the background have been eliminated to make room for another monstrous animal, and finally, aquatint has been employed to transform the image into a night scene. Once again, Goya’s starting point is an apparently realistic drawing, but the image takes on airs of fantasy and double entendre in the print. It has generally been interpreted as an allegory of sexual passion, personified by the horse, and by the woman who allows herself to be carried away despite the risk of being devoured. It has also been linked to the legend of a bewitched man who turns into a horse and kills a woman’s husband in order to kidnap her. In the preliminary drawing, the woman’s open mouth connotes surprise and even terror, but in the print, she sports a smile that notably transforms the work’s meaning into something more pleasurable. Moreover, the dramatic force of the man’s fallen body, with his legs resting on a tree trunk, recalls Goya’s then recent war images. Thus, we can see how a terrifying scene becomes much more dreamy, as the monsters appearing in the background contribute to its nocturnal atmosphere. In an effort to link it to the rest of the Disparates series, this work traditionally known as The Kidnapping Horse has also been called Unbridled Folly. In 1928, Sánchez Cantón called it Woman snatched by a horse. Creases on the upper edge and the marks of a copper engraving plate unmistakably reveal the pressure applied in transferring the image to that plate. Their proximity to the top and left edges also indicate that it was shifted with respect to the drawn composition. (Text from: Matilla, J.M.: El caballo raptor, in: Goya en tiempos de Guerra, Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2008).


Technical data

Related artworks

The kidnapping horse
Wash, Red chalk on laid paper, 1815 - 1819
Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de
The kidnapping horse
Etching, Aquatint, Burnisher, Drypoint on wove paper, 1815 - 1819
Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de
Inventory number
Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de
The kidnapping horse
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], 10
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. 111-112, nº 194, il. 50-1 y 50-2.

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

Young, Blamire, The Proverbs of Goya, Jonathan Cape, Londres:, 1923, pp. 53-54.

Mayer, August L., Francisco de Goya, Labor, Barcelona, 1925, pp. 278, nº V (698)-10, il. 389.

Camón Aznar, José, Los disparates de Goya y sus dibujos preparatorios, Instituto Amatller de Arte Hispánico, Barcelona, 1951, pp. 60-61, [127-129], nº 3.

Delteil, Loys, Goya. Facsimil 1922, Collectors editions; Da Capo Press, Nueva York, 1969, pp. nº 211.

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 1585.

Sayre, Eleanor A., The Changing Image. Prints by Francisco Goya, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston:, 1974, pp. 263-265, nº 215-217.

Gassier, Pierre, Vida y obra de Francisco de Goya: reproducción de su obra completa: pinturas, dibujos y grabados, Juventud, Barcelona, 1974, pp. nº 1585.

Gassier, Pierre, Dibujos de Goya. Estudios para grabados y pinturas, II, Noguer, Barcelona, 1975, pp. 444-445, nº 296.

Holo, Selma Reuben, Goya. Los Disparates, Museum of Art, Washington State University Press, Washington:, 1976, pp. 23.

Hofmann, W., ''El caballero raptor'', en: Goya. Das Zeitalter der Revolution 1789-1830, Prestel Verlag; Hamburguer Kunsthalle, Munich; Hamburgo, 1980, pp. 202-203, nº 153.

Wilson Bareau, Juliet, Goya's Prints. The Tomás Harris Collection in the British Museum, British Museum Publications, Londres:, 1981, pp. 81, il. 78-79.

Camón Aznar, José, Francisco de Goya, IV, Caja de Ahorros de Zaragoza, Aragón y Rioja, Zaragoza, 1982, pp. 92-93.

Harris, Tomas, Goya. Engravings and lithographs, II, Alan Wofsy Fine Arts, San Francisco:, 1983, pp. 389-390, nº 257.

Bozal, Valeriano, Imagen de Goya, Lumen, Madrid, 1983, pp. 268-270.

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, [25, 28 y 29].

Vega, Jesusa, Museo del Prado: catálogo de estampas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1992, pp. 109, nº 444.

Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso E., ''Disparates'', en: Goya grabador, Fundación Juan March, Madrid:, 1994, pp. 198-219, [209].

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. 105-107, 109, [134-135, 176-177], nº 10 y 30.

Fundación Lázaro Galdiano, Goya en la Fundación Lázaro Galdiano, Fundación Lázaro Galdiano, Madrid:, 1999, pp. 215, 218-219, nº 51.

Goya, Electa, Roma:, 2000, pp. 130-131, nº 42.

Calcografía Nacional, Calcografía Nacional. Catálogo general, II, Real Academia de San Fernando, Madrid, 2004, pp. 484, nº 3982.

Matilla, José Manuel, ''Caballo raptor / Disparate desenfrenado'', en: Goya en tiempos de guerra, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid:, 2008, pp. 480-481, nº 178.

Prada Pareja, Javier de, Goya y las Pinturas Negras desde la psicología de Jung, Editores Asociados para la Divulgación Literaria, Madrid:, 2008, pp. 263-264.

Other inventories +

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

Inscriptions +

Inscribed. Back, lower left corner

Engraved. Front

Update date: 22-11-2021 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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