Francisco de Goya, ‘Dos a Uno, Meten La Paja en el Culo - A Proof before Letters’, 1816, Harris Schrank Fine Prints

Francisco Goya (1746-1828), Dos a Uno, Meten La Paja en el Culo (If Two to One Stuff Your Arse with Straw), also titled Disparate Conocido (The Well-Known Folly), etching and burnished aquatint, c. 1816. Reference: Tomas Harris 266. A proof before letters, before the First Edition impressions made by Francois Lienard for L’Art, published in 1877. On a very fine laid Japan paper, in very good condition, with margins, 9 3/4 x 13 1/2, the sheet 11 by 15 1/2 inches.

This is before First Edition impressions, in which the letters were added (they had the title “Que Guerrero”, and below “Quel Guerrier!”, with “Goya inv. et sc.” and “L’Art” to the left and “F. Lienard Imp. Paris” to the right).

A fine impression of this great rarity, printed in a dark brownish/black ink.

Only one contemporary proof is known, in Madrid. This is one of the trial proofs made before the edition, on very thin Japan, more carefully inked than the first edition (1877) impressions and, according to Tomas Harris, almost identical to the working proof. The edition impressions are generally well printed but lack the fine clarity and aquatint contrasts of this proof.

The man at the left is running from the two scarecrow figures, and holds his hand in mock terror as if intended to amuse the crowd of dark figures behind him.

About Francisco de Goya

The tempestuous works of Francisco de Goya distinguish him as the most important Spanish painter of his time. Among his contemporaries, he was best known for his lighthearted tapestry cartoons of leisure activities, subtle satirical etchings of the bourgeoisie, and penetratingly psychological portraits of the aristocracy. Having survived an unknown illness that left him deaf and witnessed the atrocities committed during Napoleon’s occupation, which are hauntingly portrayed in the mass execution of Spanish civilians in The Third of May 1808, Goya went on to create some of his most somber, chilling images with his late “Black Paintings,” which were painted directly onto the walls of his home. Now recognized as a harbinger of modern art, Goya influenced numerous artists, including Pablo Picasso in the creation of his masterpiece Guernica (1937).

Spanish, 1746-1828, Fuendetodos, Spain, based in Madrid, Spain