Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (Spanish, 1746–1828)
Burnished aquatint, 1st state
Sheet 11 1/4 x 8 1/4 in. (28.5 x 21.01 cm)
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1935 (35.42)
Evoking the uneasiness that wells up in the face 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 colossusPrometheus? Zeus? god of war?out of darkness. Everything that held Goya in awe seems to have been compacted into this mysterious, ominous being.