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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. Wash, Red chalk on laid paper.
Not on display

A preparatory drawing for 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he made significant changes that affect the print’s definitive meaning: the man who has fallen at the horse’s feet has been replaced by a monstrous head with a human figure inside it.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

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Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de
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Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de
Inventory number
Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de
The kidnapping horse
1815 - 1819
Wash; Red chalk
Laid paper
Height: 248 mm; Width: 347 mm
Disparates [dibujo], 10
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 +

Mayer, August L., Francisco de Goya, Labor, Barcelona, 1925, pp. 231, nº 225.

Sánchez Cantón, Francisco Javier, Sala de los dibujos de Goya, II, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1928, pp. 30, nº 189.

Adhémar, J., Goya. Exposition de l'oeuvre gravé, de peintures, de tapisseries et de cent dix dessins du Musée du Prado, Bibliothèque nationale de France, París:, 1935, pp. 45, nº 280.

Camón Aznar, José, Los disparates de Goya y sus dibujos preparatorios, Instituto Amatller de Arte Hispánico, Barcelona, 1951, pp. 60-61, [128].

Uberwasser, Goya: gemälde, zeichnungen, graphik, tapisserien, Kunsthalle Basel, Basilea:, 1953, pp. 92, nº 126.

Sánchez Cantón, Francisco Javier, Los dibujos de Goya reproducidos a su tamaño y en su color, II, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1954, pp. nº 386.

Salas, Xavier de, Goya, Drawings and Prints From the Museo del Prado and the Museo Lazaro Galdiano, Madrid, and The Rosenwald Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Smithsonian Institution, Washington:, 1955, pp. 22, nº 59.

Delteil, Loys, Goya. Facsimil 1922, Collectors editions; Da Capo Press, Nueva York, 1969, pp. 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 1586.

Sayre, Eleanor, The Changing Image. Prints by Francisco Goya, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston:, 1974, pp. 263-264, nº 215.

Gassier, Pierre, Vida y obra de Francisco de Goya: reproducción de su obra completa: pinturas, dibujos y grabados, Juventud, Barcelona, 1974, pp. 325, nº 1586.

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

Holo, S., Goya. Los Disparates, Washington State University Press, Washington, 1976, pp. 23, il. 11.

Lafuente Ferrari, Enrique, El mundo de Goya en sus dibujos, Urbión, Madrid, 1979, pp. 330-331.

Camón Aznar, José, Francisco de Goya, IV, Caja de Ahorros de Zaragoza, Aragón y Rioja, Zaragoza, 1980-1982, pp. 92-93.

Stuffmann, Margret, Goya. Zeichnungen und Druckgraphik, Stadelschen Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt:, 1981, pp. 190.

Bozal, Valeriano, Imagen de Goya, Lumen, Madrid, 1983, pp. 268-270, il. 111.

Goya: nuevas visiones : homenaje a Enrique Lafuente Ferrari, Amigos del Museo del Prado, Madrid:, 1987, pp. 108-109, il. 5.

Mena Marqués, Manuela B., Goya, Electa, Roma, 2000, pp. 130-131, nº 42.

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

Ackley, C.S., 'Other worlds, other states. Etched absurdities' En:, Goya: Order & Disorder, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 2014, pp. 264-271 [268 n.181].

Matilla, J.M. Mena M.B., Goya: dibujos. Solo la voluntad me sobra, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2019, pp. 246 nº 158.

Filigree +

Motive: Letra "MANUEL SERRA" (mitad izquierda)

22 x 86 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 296.

Colección Dibujos Goya (Numeración Sánchez Catón). Núm. 189.

Catálogo Goya, Pierre Gassier y Juliet Wilson. Núm. 1586.

Inscriptions +

Inscribed. Back

Inscribed. Front, lower left corner

Inscribed. Back, Upper left area

MP Inventario DIBUJOS nº 189
Printmaking. Back, upper right corner

Exhibitions +

Goya Beyeler
10.10.2021 - 23.01.2022

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

Goya in Times of War
15.04.2008 - 13.07.2008

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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