Goya (Francisco de Goya y Lucientes) (Spanish, Fuendetodos 1746–1828 Bordeaux)

by 1818
Burnished aquatint; working proof of first state; one of six impressions known
sheet: 11 1/4 x 8 1/4 in. (28.5 x 21 cm)
Credit Line:
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1935
Accession Number:
  • Description

    Evoking that uneasiness that wells up in us at the first thought of some unfathomable power, Goya's "Giant" is staggering. This rarity ranks with works by Dürer and Rembrandt as one of the most impressive images ever printed from a copperplate.

    Like a mezzotint engraver, Goya proceeded to scrape highlights into metal previously roughened with grainy aquatint. Thus he sculpted this gargantuan colossus—Prometheus, Zeus, god of war—or what you will, out of darkness. Everything that held Goya in awe seems to have been compacted into this mysterious, ominous being.

  • Provenance

    Georges Prévôt

  • Catalogue Raisonné

    Harris 29.I ; Delteil 35

    MMA 1995, fig.15. p.71

  • References

    William M. Ivins Jr. "Goya's Giant." in Metropolitan Museum Studies. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, vol. 5, no. 2, New York, September 1936, p. 182, ill.

    Tomás Harris Goya: Engravings and Lithographs Vol. I: Text and Illustrations; Vol.II: Catalogue Raisonné. Oxford, 1964, cat. no. 29.I, ill.

    A. Hyatt Mayor "Goya's Giant." in The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, vol. 30, no. 8, New York, August 1935, pp. 153-54, ill.

    A. Hyatt Mayor Prints & People: A Social History of Printed Pictures. New York, 1971 (reprinted 1980), fig. no. 630, ill.

    Eleanor Sayre, Sue Welsh Reed The Changing Image: Prints by Francisco Goya. Ex. cat. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston, 1974, cat. no. 231, ill.

    Alfonso E. Pérez Sánchez, Eleanor Sayre Goya and the Spirit of Enlightenment. Ex. cat. Museo del Prado, October 6-December 18, 1988 ; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, January 18-March 26, l989 ; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, May 9-July 16, 1989 (English edition). Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston, 1988, cat. no. 117, p. 258, ill.

    Colta Ives, Susan Alyson Stein Goya in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ex. cat., September 12 - December 31. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1995, fig. no. 15, pp. 26-27, 71, ill.

  • See also