Sleep of Reason produces monsters


The Enlightenment (also called the Age of Reason) of 17-18th centuries replaced the Renaissance in Europe. A set of ideas - reason, progress, and human freedom - questioned the authority of churches and monarchies and offered a new vision for the future. Reason (thinking), according to one of the leaders of the Enlightenment Immanuel Kant, goes beyond physical reality and comes close to intuition (creativity, imagination). Major European monarchs invited the 'enlightened' thinkers to design reforms to build stronger states. Art of the Enlightenment found its best expression in neoclassicism: artists expressed themselves in stark realism and allegory. One of the typical representatives of this approach was Spanish artist Francisco Goya (1746-1828). Goya famously turned his art into critisism on violence and human degradation, and his Royal portraits into satire on corruption and power. In his 'Sleep of Reason', Goya says that Reason, if sleeps, is plagued by ignorance. If woken up, Reason, "the mother of the arts and the origin of the marvels", joins you with happiness and wonder.





The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters

The Caprichos series, 1799

Francisco Goya



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