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Cover thumbnail for Los Desastres de la Guerra Los Desastres de la Guerra

In 1804, Napoleon Bonaparte declared himself Emperor of France; in 1808 he invaded Spain. Sending the royal family into exile, he installed his brother Joseph on the Spanish throne. This action incensed the native populace and precipitated the Spanish War of Independence. Between 1808 and 1813, Spaniards fought a guerrilla war against the greatest army in Europe to free themselves from French domination. From the beginning of the War until about 1820, Goya worked on the 80 prints he would call Los Desastres de la Guerra (The Disasters of War). Rather than depicting heroic soldiers and scenes of glorious battle, Goya produced stark, sobering images of brutality, slaughter and misery. His images exposed the horror of war, from the ferocity of village fighting (plates 2-27) to the terrible famine that ravaged Madrid in 1811-12, claiming 20,000 lives (plates 48-64). In the "caprichos emphaticos" (plates 65-80) the artist comments on the war's political, religious, and ideological aspects and ramifications. With a stark intensity unprecedented in the history of art, these prints convey the barbarity and futility of war. No one is spared from man's inhumanity toward man, and no death is glorious. Los Desastres de la Guerra were not published during Goya's lifetime, possibly because the artist feared that some of the prints were politically dangerous or, perhaps, because he knew that the nation was too tired of war to be responsive. The prints finally appeared in 1863, revealing a theme that would continue to be expressed in the art of the twentieth century: the suffering of civilians when war is no longer confined to the battlefield.

Showing 1 to 25 of 82 Records

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Title Artist Medium & Support Creation Date
Los Desastres de la Guerra, 1st edition, plate 76, El buitre carnívoro (The carnivorous vulture)   Goya, Francisco de   Drypoint on paper  1863 
Los Desastres de la Guerra, 1st edition, plate 55, Lo peor es pedir (The worst is to beg)   Goya, Francisco de   Drypoint on paper  1863 
Los Desastres de la Guerra, 1st edition, plate 70, No saben el camino (They don't know the way)   Goya, Francisco de   Drypoint on paper  1863 
Los Desastres de la Guerra, 1st edition, plate 56, Al cemeterio (To the cemetery)   Goya, Francisco de   Drypoint on paper  1863 
Los Desastres de la Guerra, 1st edition, plate 61, Si son de otro linage (Perhaps they are of another breed)   Goya, Francisco de   Drypoint on paper  1863 
Los Desastres de la Guerra, 1st edition, plate 78, Se defiende bien (He defends himself well)   Goya, Francisco de   Drypoint on paper  1863 
Los Desastres de la Guerra, 1st edition, plate 4, Las mugeres dan valor (The women give courage)   Goya, Francisco de   Etching and aquatint on paper  1863 
Los Desastres de la Guerra, 1st edition, plate 5, Y son fieras (And they are like wild beasts)   Goya, Francisco de   Etching and aquatint on paper  1863 
Los Desastres de la Guerra, 1st edition, plate 7, Que valor! (What courage!)   Goya, Francisco de   Etching and aquatint on paper  1863 
Los Desastres de la Guerra, 1st edition, plate 9, No quieren (They don't want to)   Goya, Francisco de   Etching and aquatint on paper  1863 
Los Desastres de la Guerra, 1st edition, plate 31, Fuerte cosa es! (A tough one, this!)   Goya, Francisco de   Etching and aquatint on paper  1863 
Los Desastres de la Guerra, 1st edition, plate 36, Tampoco (Nor this time)   Goya, Francisco de   Etching and aquatint on paper  1863 
Los Desastres de la Guerra, 1st edition, plate 43, Tambien esto (This too)   Goya, Francisco de   Etching and aquatint on paper  1863 
Los Desastres de la Guerra, 1st edition, plate 45, Y esto tambien (And this too)   Goya, Francisco de   Etching and aquatint on paper  1863 
Los Desastres de la Guerra, 1st edition, plate 50, Madre infeliz! (Unhappy mother!)   Goya, Francisco de   Etching and aquatint on paper  1863 
Los Desastres de la Guerra, 1st edition, plate 51, Gracias á la almorta (Thanks to the millet)   Goya, Francisco de   Etching and aquatint on paper  1863 
Los Desastres de la Guerra, 1st edition, plate 58, No hay que dar voces (It's no use crying out)   Goya, Francisco de   Etching and aquatint on paper  1863 
Los Desastres de la Guerra, 1st edition, plate 60, No hay quien los socorra (There is no one to help them)   Goya, Francisco de   Etching and aquatint on paper  1863 
Los Desastres de la Guerra, 1st edition, plate 62, Las camas de la muerte (The beds of death)   Goya, Francisco de   Etching and aquatint on paper  1863 
Los Desastres de la Guerra, 1st edition, plate 66, Extraña devocion! (Strange devotion!)   Goya, Francisco de   Etching and aquatint on paper  1863 
Los Desastres de la Guerra, 1st edition, plate 69, Nada. Ello dirá. (Nothing. The event will tell.)   Goya, Francisco de   Etching and aquatint on paper  1863 
Los Desastres de la Guerra, 1st edition, plate 75, Farándula de charlatanes (Charlatan's show)   Goya, Francisco de   Etching and aquatint on paper  1863 
Los Desastres de la Guerra, 1st edition, plate 77, Que se rompe la cuerda (Let the rope break)   Goya, Francisco de   Etching and aquatint on paper  1863 
Los Desastres de la Guerra, 1st edition, plate 59, De qué sirve una taza? (What good in one bowl?)   Goya, Francisco de   Etching and aquatint on paper  1863 
Los Desastres de la Guerra, 1st edition, plate 67, Esta no lo es menos (This is no less so)   Goya, Francisco de   Etching and aquatint on paper  1863 

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