Etching and aquatint
Gift of The Print Club of Cleveland 1956.274
Catalogue raisonné: Harris 106, 1st. edition, 1799; Perez Sanchez and Gallego p. 77 no. 71
Francisco de Goya gave each of the prints in Los Caprichos, including this one, intentionally cryptic titles.
Francisco de Goya used printmaking to explore subjects that stirred controversy when represented in more public media, such as oil painting. This print belongs to Los Caprichos, a series of enigmatic images that critique the hypocrisy and irrationality the artist observed throughout contemporary Spanish society. Here, a group of witches prepares to fly without broomsticks or sight, suggesting ignorance and obliviousness. The dense and starry sky behind them was created using layers of aquatint—a technique that Goya was among the earliest and most expert artists to adopt.
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