Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828) Los Proverbios (The Proverbs) The complete set of 18 etchings with aquatint and drypoint, before 1824, on heavy wove paper, some with watermarks J.G.O. and a Palmette, fine, richly inked impressions, printing with very good contrasts and highlights, from the First edition of three hundred copies, printed in the workshop of Laurenciano Potenciano, published by the Real Academia de Nobles Artes de San Fernando, Madrid, 1864, with the lithographic title page, the full sheets, generally in very good condition, bound within a late 19th Century calf leather and brown linen-covered boards with the artist's name and title in gilt on the spine Plates 245 x 355mm. (9 3/4 x 14in.); Sheets 333 x 500mm. (13 x 19 1/2in.)  18
Lot 30
Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes
(1746-1828)
Los Proverbios (The Proverbs) 18
£ 30,000 - 50,000
US$ 38,000 - 63,000

Lot Details
Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828) Los Proverbios (The Proverbs) The complete set of 18 etchings with aquatint and drypoint, before 1824, on heavy wove paper, some with watermarks J.G.O. and a Palmette, fine, richly inked impressions, printing with very good contrasts and highlights, from the First edition of three hundred copies, printed in the workshop of Laurenciano Potenciano, published by the Real Academia de Nobles Artes de San Fernando, Madrid, 1864, with the lithographic title page, the full sheets, generally in very good condition, bound within a late 19th Century calf leather and brown linen-covered boards with the artist's name and title in gilt on the spine Plates 245 x 355mm. (9 3/4 x 14in.); Sheets 333 x 500mm. (13 x 19 1/2in.)  18 Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828) Los Proverbios (The Proverbs) The complete set of 18 etchings with aquatint and drypoint, before 1824, on heavy wove paper, some with watermarks J.G.O. and a Palmette, fine, richly inked impressions, printing with very good contrasts and highlights, from the First edition of three hundred copies, printed in the workshop of Laurenciano Potenciano, published by the Real Academia de Nobles Artes de San Fernando, Madrid, 1864, with the lithographic title page, the full sheets, generally in very good condition, bound within a late 19th Century calf leather and brown linen-covered boards with the artist's name and title in gilt on the spine Plates 245 x 355mm. (9 3/4 x 14in.); Sheets 333 x 500mm. (13 x 19 1/2in.)  18 Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828) Los Proverbios (The Proverbs) The complete set of 18 etchings with aquatint and drypoint, before 1824, on heavy wove paper, some with watermarks J.G.O. and a Palmette, fine, richly inked impressions, printing with very good contrasts and highlights, from the First edition of three hundred copies, printed in the workshop of Laurenciano Potenciano, published by the Real Academia de Nobles Artes de San Fernando, Madrid, 1864, with the lithographic title page, the full sheets, generally in very good condition, bound within a late 19th Century calf leather and brown linen-covered boards with the artist's name and title in gilt on the spine Plates 245 x 355mm. (9 3/4 x 14in.); Sheets 333 x 500mm. (13 x 19 1/2in.)  18 Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828) Los Proverbios (The Proverbs) The complete set of 18 etchings with aquatint and drypoint, before 1824, on heavy wove paper, some with watermarks J.G.O. and a Palmette, fine, richly inked impressions, printing with very good contrasts and highlights, from the First edition of three hundred copies, printed in the workshop of Laurenciano Potenciano, published by the Real Academia de Nobles Artes de San Fernando, Madrid, 1864, with the lithographic title page, the full sheets, generally in very good condition, bound within a late 19th Century calf leather and brown linen-covered boards with the artist's name and title in gilt on the spine Plates 245 x 355mm. (9 3/4 x 14in.); Sheets 333 x 500mm. (13 x 19 1/2in.)  18 Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828) Los Proverbios (The Proverbs) The complete set of 18 etchings with aquatint and drypoint, before 1824, on heavy wove paper, some with watermarks J.G.O. and a Palmette, fine, richly inked impressions, printing with very good contrasts and highlights, from the First edition of three hundred copies, printed in the workshop of Laurenciano Potenciano, published by the Real Academia de Nobles Artes de San Fernando, Madrid, 1864, with the lithographic title page, the full sheets, generally in very good condition, bound within a late 19th Century calf leather and brown linen-covered boards with the artist's name and title in gilt on the spine Plates 245 x 355mm. (9 3/4 x 14in.); Sheets 333 x 500mm. (13 x 19 1/2in.)  18 Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828) Los Proverbios (The Proverbs) The complete set of 18 etchings with aquatint and drypoint, before 1824, on heavy wove paper, some with watermarks J.G.O. and a Palmette, fine, richly inked impressions, printing with very good contrasts and highlights, from the First edition of three hundred copies, printed in the workshop of Laurenciano Potenciano, published by the Real Academia de Nobles Artes de San Fernando, Madrid, 1864, with the lithographic title page, the full sheets, generally in very good condition, bound within a late 19th Century calf leather and brown linen-covered boards with the artist's name and title in gilt on the spine Plates 245 x 355mm. (9 3/4 x 14in.); Sheets 333 x 500mm. (13 x 19 1/2in.)  18 Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828) Los Proverbios (The Proverbs) The complete set of 18 etchings with aquatint and drypoint, before 1824, on heavy wove paper, some with watermarks J.G.O. and a Palmette, fine, richly inked impressions, printing with very good contrasts and highlights, from the First edition of three hundred copies, printed in the workshop of Laurenciano Potenciano, published by the Real Academia de Nobles Artes de San Fernando, Madrid, 1864, with the lithographic title page, the full sheets, generally in very good condition, bound within a late 19th Century calf leather and brown linen-covered boards with the artist's name and title in gilt on the spine Plates 245 x 355mm. (9 3/4 x 14in.); Sheets 333 x 500mm. (13 x 19 1/2in.)  18 Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828) Los Proverbios (The Proverbs) The complete set of 18 etchings with aquatint and drypoint, before 1824, on heavy wove paper, some with watermarks J.G.O. and a Palmette, fine, richly inked impressions, printing with very good contrasts and highlights, from the First edition of three hundred copies, printed in the workshop of Laurenciano Potenciano, published by the Real Academia de Nobles Artes de San Fernando, Madrid, 1864, with the lithographic title page, the full sheets, generally in very good condition, bound within a late 19th Century calf leather and brown linen-covered boards with the artist's name and title in gilt on the spine Plates 245 x 355mm. (9 3/4 x 14in.); Sheets 333 x 500mm. (13 x 19 1/2in.)  18 Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828) Los Proverbios (The Proverbs) The complete set of 18 etchings with aquatint and drypoint, before 1824, on heavy wove paper, some with watermarks J.G.O. and a Palmette, fine, richly inked impressions, printing with very good contrasts and highlights, from the First edition of three hundred copies, printed in the workshop of Laurenciano Potenciano, published by the Real Academia de Nobles Artes de San Fernando, Madrid, 1864, with the lithographic title page, the full sheets, generally in very good condition, bound within a late 19th Century calf leather and brown linen-covered boards with the artist's name and title in gilt on the spine Plates 245 x 355mm. (9 3/4 x 14in.); Sheets 333 x 500mm. (13 x 19 1/2in.)  18 Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828) Los Proverbios (The Proverbs) The complete set of 18 etchings with aquatint and drypoint, before 1824, on heavy wove paper, some with watermarks J.G.O. and a Palmette, fine, richly inked impressions, printing with very good contrasts and highlights, from the First edition of three hundred copies, printed in the workshop of Laurenciano Potenciano, published by the Real Academia de Nobles Artes de San Fernando, Madrid, 1864, with the lithographic title page, the full sheets, generally in very good condition, bound within a late 19th Century calf leather and brown linen-covered boards with the artist's name and title in gilt on the spine Plates 245 x 355mm. (9 3/4 x 14in.); Sheets 333 x 500mm. (13 x 19 1/2in.)  18 Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828) Los Proverbios (The Proverbs) The complete set of 18 etchings with aquatint and drypoint, before 1824, on heavy wove paper, some with watermarks J.G.O. and a Palmette, fine, richly inked impressions, printing with very good contrasts and highlights, from the First edition of three hundred copies, printed in the workshop of Laurenciano Potenciano, published by the Real Academia de Nobles Artes de San Fernando, Madrid, 1864, with the lithographic title page, the full sheets, generally in very good condition, bound within a late 19th Century calf leather and brown linen-covered boards with the artist's name and title in gilt on the spine Plates 245 x 355mm. (9 3/4 x 14in.); Sheets 333 x 500mm. (13 x 19 1/2in.)  18 Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828) Los Proverbios (The Proverbs) The complete set of 18 etchings with aquatint and drypoint, before 1824, on heavy wove paper, some with watermarks J.G.O. and a Palmette, fine, richly inked impressions, printing with very good contrasts and highlights, from the First edition of three hundred copies, printed in the workshop of Laurenciano Potenciano, published by the Real Academia de Nobles Artes de San Fernando, Madrid, 1864, with the lithographic title page, the full sheets, generally in very good condition, bound within a late 19th Century calf leather and brown linen-covered boards with the artist's name and title in gilt on the spine Plates 245 x 355mm. (9 3/4 x 14in.); Sheets 333 x 500mm. (13 x 19 1/2in.)  18 Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828) Los Proverbios (The Proverbs) The complete set of 18 etchings with aquatint and drypoint, before 1824, on heavy wove paper, some with watermarks J.G.O. and a Palmette, fine, richly inked impressions, printing with very good contrasts and highlights, from the First edition of three hundred copies, printed in the workshop of Laurenciano Potenciano, published by the Real Academia de Nobles Artes de San Fernando, Madrid, 1864, with the lithographic title page, the full sheets, generally in very good condition, bound within a late 19th Century calf leather and brown linen-covered boards with the artist's name and title in gilt on the spine Plates 245 x 355mm. (9 3/4 x 14in.); Sheets 333 x 500mm. (13 x 19 1/2in.)  18 Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828) Los Proverbios (The Proverbs) The complete set of 18 etchings with aquatint and drypoint, before 1824, on heavy wove paper, some with watermarks J.G.O. and a Palmette, fine, richly inked impressions, printing with very good contrasts and highlights, from the First edition of three hundred copies, printed in the workshop of Laurenciano Potenciano, published by the Real Academia de Nobles Artes de San Fernando, Madrid, 1864, with the lithographic title page, the full sheets, generally in very good condition, bound within a late 19th Century calf leather and brown linen-covered boards with the artist's name and title in gilt on the spine Plates 245 x 355mm. (9 3/4 x 14in.); Sheets 333 x 500mm. (13 x 19 1/2in.)  18 Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828) Los Proverbios (The Proverbs) The complete set of 18 etchings with aquatint and drypoint, before 1824, on heavy wove paper, some with watermarks J.G.O. and a Palmette, fine, richly inked impressions, printing with very good contrasts and highlights, from the First edition of three hundred copies, printed in the workshop of Laurenciano Potenciano, published by the Real Academia de Nobles Artes de San Fernando, Madrid, 1864, with the lithographic title page, the full sheets, generally in very good condition, bound within a late 19th Century calf leather and brown linen-covered boards with the artist's name and title in gilt on the spine Plates 245 x 355mm. (9 3/4 x 14in.); Sheets 333 x 500mm. (13 x 19 1/2in.)  18 Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828) Los Proverbios (The Proverbs) The complete set of 18 etchings with aquatint and drypoint, before 1824, on heavy wove paper, some with watermarks J.G.O. and a Palmette, fine, richly inked impressions, printing with very good contrasts and highlights, from the First edition of three hundred copies, printed in the workshop of Laurenciano Potenciano, published by the Real Academia de Nobles Artes de San Fernando, Madrid, 1864, with the lithographic title page, the full sheets, generally in very good condition, bound within a late 19th Century calf leather and brown linen-covered boards with the artist's name and title in gilt on the spine Plates 245 x 355mm. (9 3/4 x 14in.); Sheets 333 x 500mm. (13 x 19 1/2in.)  18 Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828) Los Proverbios (The Proverbs) The complete set of 18 etchings with aquatint and drypoint, before 1824, on heavy wove paper, some with watermarks J.G.O. and a Palmette, fine, richly inked impressions, printing with very good contrasts and highlights, from the First edition of three hundred copies, printed in the workshop of Laurenciano Potenciano, published by the Real Academia de Nobles Artes de San Fernando, Madrid, 1864, with the lithographic title page, the full sheets, generally in very good condition, bound within a late 19th Century calf leather and brown linen-covered boards with the artist's name and title in gilt on the spine Plates 245 x 355mm. (9 3/4 x 14in.); Sheets 333 x 500mm. (13 x 19 1/2in.)  18 Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828) Los Proverbios (The Proverbs) The complete set of 18 etchings with aquatint and drypoint, before 1824, on heavy wove paper, some with watermarks J.G.O. and a Palmette, fine, richly inked impressions, printing with very good contrasts and highlights, from the First edition of three hundred copies, printed in the workshop of Laurenciano Potenciano, published by the Real Academia de Nobles Artes de San Fernando, Madrid, 1864, with the lithographic title page, the full sheets, generally in very good condition, bound within a late 19th Century calf leather and brown linen-covered boards with the artist's name and title in gilt on the spine Plates 245 x 355mm. (9 3/4 x 14in.); Sheets 333 x 500mm. (13 x 19 1/2in.)  18 Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828) Los Proverbios (The Proverbs) The complete set of 18 etchings with aquatint and drypoint, before 1824, on heavy wove paper, some with watermarks J.G.O. and a Palmette, fine, richly inked impressions, printing with very good contrasts and highlights, from the First edition of three hundred copies, printed in the workshop of Laurenciano Potenciano, published by the Real Academia de Nobles Artes de San Fernando, Madrid, 1864, with the lithographic title page, the full sheets, generally in very good condition, bound within a late 19th Century calf leather and brown linen-covered boards with the artist's name and title in gilt on the spine Plates 245 x 355mm. (9 3/4 x 14in.); Sheets 333 x 500mm. (13 x 19 1/2in.)  18
Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828)
Los Proverbios (The Proverbs) (Delteil 202-219: Harris 248-265)
The complete set of 18 etchings with aquatint and drypoint, before 1824, on heavy wove paper, some with watermarks J.G.O. and a Palmette, fine, richly inked impressions, printing with very good contrasts and highlights, from the First edition of three hundred copies, printed in the workshop of Laurenciano Potenciano, published by the Real Academia de Nobles Artes de San Fernando, Madrid, 1864, with the lithographic title page, the full sheets, generally in very good condition, bound within a late 19th Century calf leather and brown linen-covered boards with the artist's name and title in gilt on the spine

Plates 245 x 355mm. (9 3/4 x 14in.); Sheets 333 x 500mm. (13 x 19 1/2in.) (18)

Footnotes

  • Evidence suggests that Goya started work on this series in 1815 and continued until 1819. When he left Spain and the absolutist regime of king Fernando VII for exile in Bordeaux, France, in 1824, he effectively left the proofs of Los Proverbios in wooden boxes in Spain, and never returned to them. Although Goya almost certainly intended, the series was therefore never published in his lifetime.
    The set presented here is from the first edition, published by the Real Academia de Nobles Artes de San Fernando, Madrid, in 1864 and at the time titled Los Proverbios (Proverbs). It quickly became apparent that the mysterious scenes depicted by Goya were not illustrating proverbs at all, but in 1864 the proofs Goya had produced in his lifetime were not known, nor was his title for them, Los Disparates (Follies).
    The series was made in a very particular political and personal context for Goya, at a time when he was not in the court's favour anymore, the new king Fernando VII preferring the court painter Vicente López (1772-1850) to him. Goya had confined himself to his house and focused on a world of his own, fully aware of the political situation and events around him but artistically removed from the demands of the court.
    The works also came at the end of the War of Independence (the Peninsular War, 1808-1814), the horrors of which the artist had unapologetically explored in one of his other great print series, Los Desastres de la Guerra. This rather unpleasant context allowed Goya's fierce imagination to develop in Los Proverbios, in a work stunningly modern for his time.
    The modernism of Goya indeed comes to the fore in this series; the artist is free from imitation and able to approach his medium with total freedom. Working with etching, he focuses less on the lines and the perfection of the drawing than on the volumes, the effects and the expressionism of his characters. His handling of the aquatint is absolute; he uses it to the best of its effects to create an atmosphere that is at once mysterious, terrifying, fantastical, inexplicable and luminous.
    Yet the mystery is not only in the atmosphere of the series, it also surrounds it and its meaning. Countless explanations have been given but none have never proved fully satisfactory. Knowing Goya and his passionate interest in the human condition in its darkest, sympathetic and contradictory aspects, as well as his political and social awareness, the works can be seen through the spectrum of satire, personal feelings, his own reality and situation, and the referencing of popular superstitions and customs.
    The root for Disparates (the original title), dispar, means something that is unparalleled, uncommon, and perhaps this is where the most appropriate meaning for the series lies: madness, folly, is the traditional human condition. The plates are like mysterious allegories, at once dark and terrifying, humorous and fantastical and somehow, as all things sublime, pleasurable. As J.M. Matilla writes,

    They attract us because they speak directly to our sensibility rather than to our intellect.
    J.M. Matilla, "Approccio ai Disparates di Francisco de Goya", in Goya, Roma: Edizioni De Luca, 2000, p.111
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