Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes, El sueño de la razon produce monstruos, an etching

Spain, first published AD 1799

'The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters', plate 43 from the series Los Caprichos

In 1799 Goya produced a series of 80 etchings known as Los Caprichos. These 'fantasies' satirise the vices and follies of contemporary Spanish society: Greedy monks, quack doctors, foolish aristocrats and predatory prostitutes are all held up for ridicule.

This print acts as a chapter heading for the second part of the series, set in a nightmarish realm where witches and demons conceal the social satire. It shows the artist asleep at a worktable covered in papers and drawing instruments. Night creatures loom out of the darkness and an owl offers him a crayon holder.

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More information


J. Wilson-Bareau, Goyas prints (London, The British Museum Press, 1981, R 1996)

P. Gassier and J. Wilson, The life and complete works of (New York, 1971)


Height: 214.000 mm
Width: 151.000 mm

Museum number

PD 1848-7-21-43



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