Francisco Goya y Lucientes

Punctual Folly

c. 1816-1824
This is one of four additional plates to the series known as "Los Proverbios", which was first published in 1864, long after Goya's death. This impression is a trial proof before publication of the additional works by the magazine "L'Art" (Paris) in 1877. The series became known as "Los Proverbios" because the subject matter was thought to have been inspired by Spanish proverbs. The works in the series are cryptic but they are all related in their depictions of the absurd. It is difficult to tell whether this print represents an actual circus act or a bizarre fantasy. The image of an acrobat balancing on a horse, balancing on a tightrope doesn't seem to register with the spectators, most of whom have their eyes closed. With allusions to popular culture, Goya here suggests a poignant allegory of the pitfalls of blind faith.
Punctual Folly
c. 1816-1824
etching and aquatint with drypoint on laid japan paper
28.1 x 38 cm; plate: 24.5 x 35 cm
Credit line
Purchased 1951
Accession number

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