Like the preceding lot, this drawing comes from Album F. It is one of the very rare drawings from Goya's private albums to be extensively annotated by Goya in pen and ink. The inscription reads: 'In Saragossa around the middle of the last century they put a constable called Lampiños in the body of a dead nag; and he stayed alive for the whole night'. One can see only the horrified head of the man stitched inside the dead horse (could the word 'rocin' used by Goya be a conscious reference to Rocinante, Don Quixote's horse?) in front of a large arch, with excited dogs barking, attracted by the animal's entrails which lie on the ground.
Although lost from view since its appearance in the Paris 1877 sale, the drawing has recently been revealed as one of the very few described in his Journal by William Stirling, later Sir William Stirling Maxwell (1818-1878), the pioneering English collector and historian of Spanish art, following a visit to Javier Goya's home in 1849 : 'Some of the best and most spirited [sketches] are the two wh[ich] relate the fate of the Alguacil Lampiños at Zaragoza - the terror it seems of students and 'Mugeres de la fortuna'. In No 1 he is sketched sewed up by the students in the carcass of a dead horse where he passed the night, with his head protruding from the most indelicate part of the corpse to the great terror and surprise of the dogs, who come to taste the carrion' (H. Brigstocke, 'El descubrimiento del arte español en Gran Bretaña', op. cit., p. 23, note 57).
In Album F where it bore the number '85', and still in the volumes assembled by Javier Goya, this drawing was in sequence with another, today in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, numbered '86' (Gassier, 1973, op. cit., no. 374 [F86]). This represents the actual death of constable Lampiños, and it was also described by William Stirling: 'In No. 2 a party of 'Mugeres de la fortuna' are administrating to him a clyster of quick lime of which he died according to the note in Goya's handwriting' (Brigstocke, op. cit.). The same constable may be represented on pages '81' and '82' of the same album. On the first one (in a French private collection in 1973; Gassier, op. cit., no. 344 [F81]), he is represented as a force for evil as he drags a 'fallen' woman (a prostitute?) along by the arm, with his staff, the emblem of his office, raised in his other hand. On the other drawing (New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Gassier, op. cit., no. 345 [F82]), he is shown as a force for good as he tries to break up a fight between two men. But in so doing, he uses his stick with as much violence as they are wrestling with each other. In Goya's world, the constable is the perfect symbol of the perversion of authority.
We thank Juliet Wilson-Bareau for her kind help in cataloguing this drawing.