In 1797 Francisco Goya created 80 etchings that laid out a scathing critique of pre-enlightenment Spain, illustrating the damaging effects of superstition, arraigned marriage, and a wasteful ruling class.
Goya’s Los Caprichos was a tour-de-force second only to his Horrors of War. Plate #43 of Los Ccaprichos is called The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters — a sleeping man haunted by a chaotic flock of wide-eyed owls, animals symbolizing mystery and evil in Spanish folklore. The epigraph for the work contains a warning:
“Fantasy abandoned by reason produces impossible monsters: united with reason, fantasy is the mother of the arts and the origin of their marvels.”
Reed Enger, "The Sleep Of Reason Produces Monsters," in Obelisk Art History, Published January 21, 2017; last modified May 19, 2021, http://arthistoryproject.com/artists/francisco-jose-de-goya-y-lucientes/the-sleep-of-reason-produces-monsters/.