Etching with aquatint
Harris 251 III/1 (1. Ed 1864)
242 x 353 mm; the sheet 336 x 498 mm
From the series: Los Proverbios
A very fine, strong, even and clear impression, as described by Harris for the best specimens of this edition. The areas worked with the burnisher, the two figures on the left and around the legs of the giant, still contrast well with the brighter parts, although these are still rich in shades. Printed on heavy wove paper, which shows part of the watermark J. G. O. and palmette, as required in this edition.
Uncut margins with traces of old binding on the left. Overall very good, almost untouched condition.
Of Goya's four main print series, the series of etchings known as Los Proverbios or Los Disparates, is the last and the most enigmatic of his oeuvre; these strikingly powerful etchings are full of the terror of nightmare visions. The series was published under the title Los Proverbios, although Goya's own captions for the working proofs include the word disparates, meaning follies. As a result, this print series is known by both titles. The fate of the plates after completion is only partly known. The series originally comprised 22 plates, and these were left with Goya's son Javier upon the artist's departure from Spain, remaining hidden until Javier's death in 1854. Eighteen of them passed through two owners before coming to the Real Academia de Nobles Artes in 1862, where they were cleaned and published in a first, posthumous edition in 1864. Meanwhile, the four remaining plates had made their way to Paris, where they were discovered in the early 1870s. These four were eventually published in the French periodical L'Art in 1877.