Goya (Francisco de Goya y Lucientes) (Spanish, Fuendetodos 1746–1828 Bordeaux)
Etching printed in blue ink; working proof
plate: 12 7/8 x 8 7/16 in. (32.7 x 21.4 cm)
sheet: 17 1/16 x 12 5/16 in. (43.3 x 31.2 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1920
Not on view
This is one of Goya's earliest etchings, made when he was exploring the technique. It shows a man being killed by a garrotte, the standard civilian method of execution in Spain of which there were several methods. That depicted here shows the prisoner sat on a stool with his back to the post, wrists bound and a hinged iron collar closed around his neck. It is a strange subject for a print, perhaps addressing judicial abuse and it is hard to guess what sort of audience Goya anticipated. Goya might not have intended it for wide distribution as it was made when he was beginning as a printmaker and exploring subjects that interested him personally. Goya’s unflinching depiction of this method of execution anticipates his brutally frank representation of conflict in the 'Disasters of War' began over thirty years later, in 1810. This etching, printed in blue ink is a unique working proof. The tone imparts an eerie sense to the composition, suggesting an interior nocturnal setting.
Inscription: On the verso in the upper right is the name 'Goya' in brown iron gall ink. This is not in Goya's hand and appears to be in an early 19th century hand.
Marking: George William Reid (Lugt 1210) printed in violet ink
George William Reid (British, 1819–1887 London); Vendor: F. Keppel & Co. (New York)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," December 4, 1992–April 5, 2013.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Goya in the Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 12, 1995–December 31, 1995.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Power of Prints: The Legacy of William M. Ivins and A. Hyatt Mayor," January 26, 2016–May 22, 2016.
Harris 21.I (this working proof unknown to Harris)
Le Peintre-Graveur Illustré (XIXe et XXe siècles). vol. 15, Paris, 1922.
Tomás Harris Goya: Engravings and Lithographs Vol. I: Text and Illustrations; Vol.II: Catalogue Raisonné. Oxford, 1964.