Ridiculous dream (c.1819) by Francisco Goya

Ridiculous dream - Francisco Goya - c.1819

Artwork Information

TitleRidiculous dream
ArtistFrancisco Goya
Dimensions24.7 x 35.8 cm
Art MovementRomanticism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Ridiculous dream

The artwork titled “Ridiculous dream” is a creation by Francisco Goya, dating around 1819. Crafted through the mediums of aquatint, drypoint, and etching on paper, it is a representative piece of the Romanticism movement, measuring 24.7 by 35.8 cm. Its genre is caricature, and it currently resides in a private collection. Rather than being publicly displayed, this piece remains in the sovereignty of an individual collection.

In examining the artwork, it presents a surreal and somewhat eerie scene. It depicts a group of individuals riding upon a dark, amorphous creature that appears to be a mixture of animalistic forms, possibly a bull-like structure, based on the presence of horns or large ears. The creature’s exact nature is ambiguous, however, it seems to be traversing or suspended in an indistinct, shadowy environment evocative of a dreamlike or nightmarish quality.

The humans are clothed in the fashion that appears consistent with the period of the early 19th century and are portrayed with varying expressions that range from what could be interpreted as mild amusement to disinterest. Their position on the creature and their expressions contribute to the caricature genre, emphasizing the absurdity of the situation. The artwork evokes a sense of the fantastical, infused with social or political satire, a theme often present in Goya’s works. The etching technique Goya employed results in stark contrasts between the light and dark areas, enhancing the dramatic and enigmatic quality of the scene.

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