Feb 14, 2008

The Proverbs: If Marion Will Dance, Then She Has to Take the Consequences

The Proverbs: If Marion Will Dance, Then She Has to Take the Consequences


Part of a set. See all set records

Francisco de Goya

(Spanish, 1746–1828)

Etching and aquatint

Gift of Grover Higgins 1928.102.12

Catalogue raisonné: Harris 259; Perez Sanchez and Gallego p. 187 no. 12



The freewheeling, lascivious dancers in Goya’s composion keep time with castanets, pairs of shell-shaped wooden clappers attached to the thumb and index finger. The erotic connotations of castanets dated from antiquity, when they were depicted in vase paintings in association with the cult of the goddess Cybele and the Dionysian rites. According to Martin Mersenne’s treatise, Les Preludes de l’harmonie universelle (1636), castanets were used to accompany the saraband, a fast folk dance considered disreputable in 16th-century Spain. Although by the time the saraband reached the French court in the 17th century, it had become a slow, serious, processional dance, Goya refers here to the dance’s earlier, erotic origins.

See also
PR - Etching
Type of artwork: 

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.