Etching and aquatint
Support: Antique laid paper
Sheet: 26.3 x 20 cm (10 3/8 x 7 7/8 in.); Image: 18.9 x 13.2 cm (7 7/16 x 5 3/16 in.); Platemark: 21.4 x 15.1 cm (8 7/16 x 5 15/16 in.)
Andrew R. and Martha Holden Jennings Fund 1997.54
Catalogue raisonné: Harris 71, IIb, trial proof; Perez Sanchez and Gallego p. 54 no. 36
A Bad Night is from Los Caprichos (Caprices), a set of 80 prints that satirize the vices and follies of contemporary Spanish society. Goya explored the themes of superstition and sensuality, greed and violence, and immorality and deceit practiced by men and women who appear alternately as aggressors and victims. He parodied ignorance and stupidity as well as the corruption of the church and government. Goya exploited aquatint to create a dramatic contrast of light and shade through the biting and burnishing of richly textured or velvet-smooth aquatint grains. He thus expressed the opposing forces of enlightenment and ignorance, reason and the irrational world, and suggested an atmosphere of violence and doom, best illustrated in the trial proofs like this one, printed before the first edition.
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