El Embozado [The Cloaked Man] or El Torero anciano [The Old Bullfighter]
circa 1824-1826 (p. 1859)
25.2 cm x 18.9 cm (9 15/16 in. x 7 7/16 in.)
Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (aka Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes)
(Fuendetodos, Spain, 1746 - 1828, Bordeaux, France)
Medium and Support:
Etching with posthumous drypoint additions
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Archer M. Huntington Museum Fund, 1992
Goya began working on his last series of etchings around 1815. When he departed for Bordeaux in 1824, he left twenty-two plates with his son Javier. Eighteen of the plates were published for the first time in Paris in 1864 under the title of Los Proverbios—The Proverbs. The other four plates, which had been separated around 1844, were re-discovered in 1877 and published in the French journal L’Art. Since the word “disparate,” translatable as folly, appears in the captions that Goya himself inscribed on a group of working proofs, the series is alternately called Los Disparates. Their imagery is the most complex and their meaning the most illusive of Goya’s series. The broad themes are still those of the Caprichos, but reason seems to have been completely overwhelmed and the prints are full of nightmarish visions.
This is one of seven etchings created by Goya during his last four years in exile in Bordeaux. The plates recall the format and types of the Caprichos, but with the vague settings and mysterious meanings of the Proverbios. (The bull in the background appears added by a later hand.) It may be that Goya conceived them as part of a new series of caprichos, which he then abandoned in favor of lithography. There exist just one contemporary proof and a handful of impressions from posthumous printings.