This is "The Dream of the reason produces monsters", 1797, one of the eighty etchings entitled "Los Caprichos", published in 1799. It is always so hard to know which was the original intention of some artist's work and numerous theories are used to explain not only the intention but also the meaning and many other aspects. As you heard at the 1.28 minutes video* "sueño" means "dreams" and "sleep" in Spanish but I'm sure he meant "dream". This is one of his quotes:
“Fantasy, abandoned by reason, produces impossible monsters; united with it, she is the mother of the arts and the origin of marvels.”Artists think so much about their works that sometimes it is hard to think of them as being part of the society and I am telling this because I know painters and writers. I am not denying that they do and some of them do political statements intentionally.
There are many ways to approach an artist. Some takes the biography as the measurement; others the historical period; others the economical aspect of their own thinking; the philosophical approach; the aesthetic and it goes and goes... Even a medical approach is done in Goya's case because he had a disease when he was forty-five years-old that left him deaf. Like Van Gogh he also became a kind of medical puzzle because the symptoms he suffered can be related to a huge array of diseases.
Anyway.... I like to read the most important works by scholars or art lovers and just keep in mind a vague memory of them. Reading different authors approaching a work helps me keeping the excitement I had when I first saw the work and I can also appreciate the other phases of the artist the has nothing to do with only one approach. Goya also painted amazing women and delightful scenes. I like both equally. I love being a dilettante. Dilettante, synonymous amateur, is a word of Latin origin "dilectare"... delight. “Fools are not Foolish.” Francisco Goya "Painting is such a joy for me." Vincent Van Gogh *You can find one video explaining the whole series and some other prints here. Update: This post I promised yesterday when I talked about Piranesi.