The Disasters of War

Front Cover
Dover Publications, 1967 - Art - 12 pages
2 Reviews

The strikingly original characterizations and sharply drawn scenes that came to be known posthumously as "Los Desastres de la Guerra" (The Disasters of War) are among Francisco Goya's most powerful works and one of the masterpieces of Western civilization. Goya's model for his visual indictment of war and its horrors was the Spanish insurrection of 1808 and the resulting Peninsular War with Napoleonic France. The bloody conflict and the horrible famine of Madrid were witnessed by Goya himself, or were revealed to him from the accounts of friends and contemporaries. From 1810 to 1820, he worked to immortalize them in a series of etchings.
The artist himself never saw the results. The etchings were not published until 1863, some 35 years after his death. By then, the passions of the Napoleonic era had subsided and the satirical implications in Goya's work were less likely to offend. The Dover edition reproduces in its original size the second state of this first edition, which contained 80 prints. Three additional prints not in the 1863 edition are also included here, making this the most complete collection possible of the etchings Goya intended for this series. The bitter, biting captions are reprinted, along with the new English translations, as are the original title page and preface.
Dover unabridged republication of the first (1863) edition with three additional prints reprinted from proofs in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

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User Review  - kaki5231 - LibraryThing

I've always enjoyed Goya's style of painting (somewhat morbid) and when I was traveling in Buenos Aires, Argentina, I found this gem in a bookstore. I had know of Goys's depiction of the attrocities ... Read full review

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About the author (1967)

Francisco Jose de Goya y Lucientes was the great Spanish painter and graphic artist whose fame rests not only on his superb painterly abilities, but also on the darkness and drama of the subject matter he recorded. Rembrandt's powerful influence is easily observed. Born in Saragossa, he settled in Madrid in 1774. His early paintings are lively, cheerful, and almost rococo in feeling (e.g., his tapestry cartoons in the Prado). In 1789 Goya was appointed official court painter---a position once held by Diego Velazquez, whom he admired and emulated. In 1794 Goya became deaf, and his mood changed profoundly. He began to draw and etch. The Caprichos (1796--98), aquatinted etchings which date from that period, present satirical, grotesque, and nightmarish scenes. His famous, unsparingly realistic, Family of King Charles IV (critics still wonder how he got away with it) was painted in 1800. When Spain was taken over by Napoleon in 1808, a terrible civil war ensued. Goya, torn between his Francophile liberalism and his Spanish patriotism, more than all else hated the cruelties of war. The 65 etchings that comprise Los Desastres de la Guerra are among the most moving antiwar documents in all art. Fourteen large mysterious murals, the so-called Black Paintings, were painted toward the end of Goya's life. He spent his last years in Bordeaux, in voluntary exile from the Spanish Bourbon regime.