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Disaster 80. Will She Live Again?
Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de
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Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de

Fuendetodos, Zaragoza (Spain), 1746 - Bordeaux (France), 1828

Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de See author's file

Disaster 80. Will She Live Again?

XIX century. Etching, Burnisher on paper. Not on display

The volume of prints that the artist gave to Ceán with the title Fatal Consequences of Spain’s Bloody War with Bonaparte. And other Emphatic Caprices began with the premonitory image of a dejected man, defenseless before the terrible circumstances brought on by the approaching war. The end of the series shows just how accurate that premonition was, although Goya leaves room for some small bit of hope. Despite this series’ apparent disorder, it actually has an inner logic in its presentation of more-or-less grouped subjects, using titles to link the prints and presenting sequences in which the artist brings a narrative sense to his moral considerations about the perversity of war. The last three prints from the Emphatic Caprichos that constitute the series’ culmination maintain this allegorical character, although they eschew the previous use of fables. The sequence’s political content is clear. The Truth Has Died presents the body of a young woman lying bare-breasted on the ground and glowing with a light that allows us to see the people participating in her burial and their expressions. over the course of the Disasters, Goya employs the female body with a markedly sensual character to present the tragedy of war. He does so here as an allegory of Truth, which sheds light on all things, and again to her right, as an allegory of Justice, who wears similar garb and weeps at her loss. He also presents three male figures: a bishop wearing a miter, who seems to be blessing her body, and two monks with a hoe who seem content to dig her grave. Further back, numerous clergymen attend the event with more or less interest, including a blindfolded man leaning on a staff. The criticism of the Church is clear, and its political orientation probably refers to the restoration of its privileges following the Decree of May 4, 1814, which abolished the Constitution of 1812. Its link to the following print is determined by the question posed in its title: Will She Live Again? Given the ironic character of many of Goya’s titles, this one may be less hopeful than some authors think, as it could just as well be interpreted with the skepticism that characterizes many of his final works. And were Truth to return to life, the creatures of the night are still there to put an end to her with their laws and their power, thus maintaining men like the one barely visible behind her glowing light bound and gagged (Text drawn from Matilla, J. M.: "Desastre 79. Murió la verdad/ Desastre 80. Si resucitara?", in: Goya en Tiempos de Guerra, Madrid: Museo Nacional del Prado, 2008, pp. 346-348).

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Related artworks

Will She Live Again?
Red chalk on laid paper, 1814 - 1815
Si resucitará?
Etching on wove paper, 1814 - 1815
Inventory number
G002080
Author
Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de
Title
Disaster 80. Will She Live Again?
Date
XIX century
Technique
Etching; Burnisher
Support
Paper
Dimension
Height: 178 mm; Width: 220 mm
Provenance
Donation by Tomás Harris, 1964

Bibliography +

Nieto Alcaide, V., La guerra y lo imaginario en la pintura de Goya. En: Historias inmortales, Barcelona, 2003, pp. 319-329.

Matilla, José Manuel, Estampas españolas de la Guerra de la Independencia: propaganda, conmemoración y testimonio, Universidad de Salamanca, 2008.

Update date: 04-11-2021 | Registry created on 22-07-2016

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