About this artwork

The ability to fly is one of man’s oldest fantasies. The search for a viable aircraft had been underway for centuries, but by the late eighteenth century, the quest had really started to gather momentum. In this dreamlike image Goya depicted humans in flight, made possible by a series of pulleys that connect the legs and arms to huge bat-like wings. These fantastic devices are reminiscent of the flying machines designed by Leonardo da Vinci. Goya may have been showing this dream to be impossible and lunatic or, conversely, he may have been expressing a belief in the power of rational, intelligent man for solving problems and overcoming obstacles.

Updated before 2020

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Francisco de Goya

Francisco de Goya

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