“The moral of it all is summed up in the central plate of the Caprichos in which we see Goya himself, his head on his arms, sprawled across his desk and fitfully sleeping, while the air above is peopled with bats and owls of necromancy and just behind his chair lies an enormous witch’s cat, malevolent as only Goya’s cats can be, staring at the sleeper with baleful eyes. On the side of the desk are traced the words, ‘The dream [or ‘sleep’] of reason produces monsters.'”
One of Goya’s most disturbing works of all was never intended for a public audience – ‘Saturn Devouring His Children’ was painted directly onto the walls of Goya’s house where he had retreated to after bouts of illness that left him deaf and approaching mental illness.
These later works are testament to an artist haunted by illness and the world around him. They are both extremely powerful and disturbing – so much so that most of them were not published until decades after his death.Follow @ispyer