Matrimonial Extravagance; Etching
"Disorderly Folly" belongs to a series of twenty-one plates etched by Goya around 1818 (none of the plates bears a date); yet, no edition was printed during the artist's lifetime. The Academia de San Fernando acquired eighteen of the plates in 1862 and published the first edition in 1864. Unlike his two earlier series, "The Caprices" and "The Disasters" which have engraved titles, the prints from this series do not. However, original proofs of fourteen of the plates exist which bear handwritten titles reputed to be by Goya. All of these titles contain the word "disparate" (folly); thus, some scholars label the series "The Follies". One scholar, Thomas Harris, feels however, that the manuscript titles are not by the artist. In his catalog of Goya's graphic works, Harris has placed the series under the title used by the Academia for the 1864 edition, "The Proverbs". He believes the Academia would not have used such a title without being able to identify most of them with Spanish proverbs. His research has found proverbs which seem applicable to all of the works in the series, however, Harris also reminds us that though Goya frequently used proverbs as titles, he usually twisted them giving them a particular political, social, or religious significance. The proverb title above is from the Harris catalog. The other title, "Matrimonial Folly", appeared in a 1918 publication of the prints by Beruete. His catalog, "Goya Grabador" was issued prior to the discovery of a proof bearing the manuscript title "Disparate Desordenado" (Chicago).The references to marriage in both the proverb and Beruete title come from an earlier print (no 75 in "The Caprices") with the caption "Is there no one to untie us?". This print pictures a married couple bound to one another at the waist. Indeed, the exhibition print seems related to the Caprices one. However, the couple has become distorted, no longer tied together, the two are joined back to back and head to head. Goya, like Hogarth in "Marriage a la Mode", is commenting on the unhappy results of arranged marriages. However, Goya's ill matched couple openly implicates the guilty parents with an accusing finger.
- Printmaking