Bobalicón (Simpleton), 1816-1819

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In this famous nightmarish scene, a childlike giant dances toward two smaller figures, a frightened man hiding behind a taller female figure. Clicking his castanets, the colossus smiles with spine-chilling delight as two shrieking demons emerge from the darkness behind him. Goya highlighted the figure’s demonic smile, large chest, and castanets by using stopping-out varnish to prevent the acid from biting these passages so that they appear white against the richly aquatinted plate. In a preparatory drawing, the small, frightened man is depicted as a monk or priest hiding behind what might be an image of the Virgin Mary. Goya altered this detail in the print to create more ambiguity.

Bobalicón (Simpleton)
Artist Life
Accession Number
Catalogue Raisonne
H.251.III.1, D. 205 L.D. 2002-219
Curator Approved

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