The sleep of Reason produces monsters
Etching and aquatint
Plate 43 of the series of 80 prints titled Los Caprichos, The Whims, is an example of a second state; a trial proof in which the inscription is illegible. Behind the performer asleep on his work table, one can make out a threatening pack of nocturnal animals, owls, bats, a cat and a lynx. Caprichos by Goya, engraved after 1797 and published in book form in 1799, is an enigmatic work, which develops three dominant themes, a violent satire denouncing the vices of men and society, erotic motifs and witchcraft, seen as a demonic tendency and primitive insight as opposed to reason. According to some scholars Goya uses allegorical language as a means to escape censure. The choice of animals for this composition such as the cat, the symbol of lust and laziness, and the lynx, equipped with keen eyesight that enables it to follow the light through darkness, seems to confirm this view.