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Harvest of the Dead
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

Harvest of the Dead

1812 - 1814. Etching, Aquatint, Burnisher on ivory paper.
Not on display

Disasters of War, 63, Harvest of the Dead.

Goya devoted many of the prints in the first part of The Disasters of War to scenes in which the civilian population is the innocent victim of soldiers´ excesses, particularly with women presented as the object of the invaders´ sexual violence. Although the Disasters do not follow a strict order, there is a structure that allows us to see how Goya approaches his themes in a sequential fashion, even when occasionally certain prints appear to be inserted among other groupings dealing with a different subject. Through these reiterations and alternations, Goya may have sought to convey a sense of the randomness of war, in which one never knows what will happen next. Violence against women is one of the themes that Goya frequently returns to in the first part of the series, and which he occasionally ties together with the titles. Las mugeres dan valor (The women give courage, plate 4), No quieren (They don´t like it, plate 9), Tampoco (Not [in this case] either, plate 10), Ni por esas (Neither do these, plate 11), Amarga presencia (Bitter to be present, plate 13), and Ya no hai tiempo (There isn´t time now, plate 19), among other prints, show the crimes of the French soldiers against women portrayed as examples of beauty and pathos. In many scenes, such as in the present print, Goya makes use of a series of visual devices that help him express these concepts and direct our gaze towards the victims. He gives prominence to the female figures by using very few etched lines to delineate them, thus using white space to outline them against a dark background, while other figures have been intensely etched. The result sometimes gives the appearance of a theatrical set. He also makes use of vaults and arches - architectural motifs whose symbolic purpose is undeniable, shrouding the scene of the crime in shadows and darkness. Goya´s use of architectural space establishes a contrast between the light outside, where a religious building allows us to situate this scene in an urban setting, and the darkness beneath the arches, where the crimes are being committed. As in so many other prints from the series, these examples of cruelty are not limited to isolated, individual actions but are manifestations of collective violence, which also allows Goya to illustrate different stages in the scene he is narrating. Nevertheless, the most dramatic element of this print is the defenseless child lying at its mother´s feet. The diagonal created by the figure of the woman and the arms of the soldier pulling her away is broken by the foreshortening of the halfnaked body of the child. Crying inconsolably, the child extends his tensed hand in a gesture that recalls that of the French soldier in plate 3 trying to protect himself from the blow of an axe; a gesture that there, like here, indicates he will not escape death (Matilla, J. M.: Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado, Queensland Art Gallery-Art Exhibitions Australia, 2012, p. 219).


Technical data

Related artworks

Harvest of the Dead
Red chalk on laid paper, continuous paper, Ca. 1813
Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de
Inventory number
Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de
Harvest of the Dead
1812 - 1814
Etching; Aquatint; Burnisher
Ivory paper
Height: 155 mm; Width: 208 mm
Desastres de la guerra [estampa], 63
Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, Madrid; Eduardo Luis Moreda Fernández; Museo del Prado, 2000

Bibliography +

Brunet, M.G., Étude sur Francisco Goya sa vie et ses travaux, Aubry, Paris, 1865, pp. 57.

Viñaza, Cipriano Muñoz y Manzano Conde de la, Goya: su tiempo, su vida, sus obras, Tip. M.G. Hernández, Madrid, 1887, pp. 393.

Delteil, Loys, Francisco Goya, I, Chez L'Auteur, Paris, 1922.

Mayer, August L., Francisco de Goya, Labor, Barcelona, 1925, pp. 231.

Lafuente Ferrari, Enrique, Goya: el dos de mayo y los fusilamientos de la Moncloa, Juventud, Barcelona, 1946, pp. 20.

Lafuente Ferrari, Enrique, Los desastres de la guerra de Goya y sus dibujos preparatorios, Instituto Amatller de Arte Hispánico, Barcelona, 1952, pp. 26, 178.

Harris, Tomas, Goya, engravings and lithographs, II, Bruno Cassirer, Oxford, 1964, pp. 269.

Gassier, Pierre y Wilson-Bareau, Juliet, Vie et oeuvre de Francisco de Goya: l' oeuvre complet illustré: peintures, dessins, gravures, Office du Livre, Fribourg, 1970.

Derozier, C., La Guerre D'Independance Espagnole a Travers L'Estampe (1808..., II, Universidad de Lille, Lille, 1976, pp. 932.

Vega, J., Fatales consecuencias de la guerra. Francisco de Goya, pintor, Francisco de Goya, grabador: instantáneas, Caser y Calcografía Nacional, Madrid, 1992, pp. 43.

Vega, Jesusa, Museo del Prado: catálogo de estampas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1992, pp. 96.

Blas, J. y Matilla, J.M., El libro de los desastres de la guerra : Francisco de Goya, Museo Nacional del Prado,Calcografía Nacional, Madrid, 2000, pp. 119-120.

Obras adscritas al Museo Nacional del Prado en el año 2000, Boletín del Museo del Prado, XIX, 2001, pp. 200.

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

Calcografía Nacional (España), Calcografía Nacional: catálogo general, II, Calcografía Nacional, Madrid, 2004, pp. 466.

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

Bordes J., Matilla J.M. y Balsells S, Goya, cronista de todas las guerras: los ''desastres'' y la fotografía de guerra, Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno y Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria; Madrid, 2009, pp. 206.

Bernardi López Vázquez, José Manuel, En el germen del Liberalismo español. La filosofía neoestoica en los Desastres de la Guerra de Goya., Quintana, 13, 2014, pp. 25 f.15.

Hofmann, Julius, Francisco de Goya: Katalog seines graphischen Werkes, Gesellschaft für vervielfältigende Kunst, Viena, 2014, pp. 91-145.

Other inventories +

Inv. Nuevas Adquisiciones (iniciado en 1856). Núm. 2564.

Inscriptions +

"44" (raspado y bruñido)
Front, lower left corner

"63" (raspado)
Front, upper left corner

Título de la estampa"
Front, lower central area

Update date: 22-11-2021 | Registry created on 26-11-2015

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