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Even worse
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

Even worse

1810. Wash, Etching, Burin on paper. Not on display

Within the Disasters series, Goya repeats subjects to emphasise certain aspects of war and its consequences. The connections he establishes through the titles reinforces this, as may be appreciated in this print that is included in a sequence showing scenes of collective slaughter. The previous etching, Será lo mismo (It will be the same, plate 21), shows corpses of combatants being carried away before a disconsolate woman. It is followed by this one, Tanto y más (Even worse), in which the bodies have accumulated in a pile outside a town, in the same manner as is depicted in the next print, Lo mismo en otras partes (The same elsewhere, plate 23).Goya´s vehemence is clear in this repetition of tragic scenes and in the expressive force of the language used in the titles. Tanto y más emphasises the unspeakable magnitude of the slaughter, impossible to describe with a simple adjective, a futility suggested here with the addition of the comparative y más (and more). Goya´s working method in the Disasters series is based on a limited range of devices. Far from producing monotony, however, he achieves very diverse effects by combining these in different ways. Tanto y más is a good example of this approach. While in Enterrar y callar (Bury them and keep quiet, plate 18) we witness the nausea produced by the smell of death contrasted with the beauty of the human body, in the present etching we see the immediate consequences of recent combat or perhaps a mass execution carried out by the French soldiers. The corpses -unequivocally Spaniards from their civilian dress- lie in a disorganised pile covering the space from the foreground to the background.The setting, characterised by vaguely delineated architectural forms in the distance, alludes to the rural context in which most of the slaughter of Spanish guerrilla fighters took place. The precision with which each of the cadavers is represented lends verisimilitude to the scene. Owing to this realistic treatment, the victims here are not mere figurines, as had been the case in representations of war before Goya. Rather, they appear as human beings capable of transmitting emotions and provoking them in the viewer. The contorted faces, the forced postures and the cadaverous rigidity are all signs of a violent death.As in other prints from the series, Goya signed the plate (visible in the lower left-hand corner of the print) and added the date, 1810. This image -whether or not he witnessed it or imagined it- undoubtedly served as a point of departure for his emblematic paintings of 1814 depicting French soldiers executing citizens of Madrid: The second of May 1808, Madrid: the charge of the Mamelukes (P748); and The third of May 1808, Madrid: the executions on Príncipe Pio hill (P749) (Matilla, J. M.: Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado, Queensland Art Gallery-Art Exhibitions Australia, 2012, p. 221).

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Even worse
Red chalk on ivory laid paper, 1810
Even worse
Wash on ivory paper, 1810
Inventory number
G000693
Author
Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de
Title
Even worse
Date
1810
Technique
Wash; Etching; Burin
Support
Paper
Dimension
Height: 162 mm.; Width: 253 mm.
Series
Desastres de la guerra [estampa], 22
Provenance
Bequest of by Tomas Harris, 1964

Bibliography +

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

No se puede mirar: Goya, Desastres de la guerra, Zoran Musi..., 2007.

Jacobs, Helmut C., Nacionalismos en la pintura de Francisco de Goya, Acta artis, 4 / 5, 2016-2017, pp. 55-75 [63 f.5].

Exhibitions +

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado
Houston TX
15.12.2012 - 31.03.2013

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado
Brisbane
22.07.2012 - 04.11.2012

Goya: luces y sombras. Obras maestras del Museo del Prado
Barcelona
15.03.2012 - 24.06.2012

Update date: 02-05-2019 | Registry created on 13-12-2016

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