The set of 80 etchings, embellished with aquatint, drypoint, and engraving, explore man’s follies with an acerbic, satirical fervour that ultimately brought Goya fame beyond Spain’s borders.
About 300 copies were printed in the first edition of 1799 with this copy an early state (something determined by a scratch on plate 45).
It is is also among only a few known to have a contemporary Spanish provenance. The binding bears an 1833 inscription to the Spanish costrumbrist painter Antonio Pérez Rubio (1822- 88) and is impressed with his initials.
The book exchanged hands several times before it was purchased by the grandparents of the current owner, a local resident who was cleaning out their basement.
Consigned from the same home is a complete copy of the third edition of Goya’s Los Desastres de la Guerra (The Disasters of War) and a collection of 26 framed Goya etchings.