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I saw it
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

I saw it

1810 - 1815. Red chalk, Conté crayon on laid paper.
Not on display

The value of Goya’s war images is largely determined by their plausibility. This makes them visual referents for what happens in war. Neither their status as narrative nor the esteem in which they are currently held depend on whether or not they reflect lived experience, but at that time it must have imbued them with added value. Obviously, Goya could not have seen many of these events with his own eyes without risking his life, so we must conclude that he carried out an intellectual reconstruction on the basis of contemporary testimony. But it is equally certain that it is sometimes possible to consider these prints personal narratives of what he had seen, and the present work is the finest example of such an objective representation. Beginning with its title, I saw it, the image becomes a visual document of a witnessed event with Goya as its scribe, and this is reinforced by the following print, whose title reads: And this as well (Disaster 45) (G02375). Goya did much the same in one of the most dramatic prints from his Tauromaquia, adding I saw it to the handwritten title of his depiction of The Death of the Mayor of Torrejón. Regardless of whether this was mere narrative artifice, Goya may well have seen what is presented here, as the flight of the civilian population before the advance of French troops was customary during the war years. Contemporaneous artists never showed these scenes in their prints, perhaps because they did not serve to commemorate any kind of heroism, however Goya found them especially interesting, and he went so far as to dedicate five consecutive prints to them (Disasters 41, 42, 43, 44 and 45), thus presenting yet another facet of the people’s suffering. These works also contain elements that appear throughout the series, including a woman risking her own life to protect her children from impending danger. She is presented in a positive manner, in a luminous space that contrasts with the intensely defined figures in the shadows to her left, which are rendered with red chalk in the drawing, and etching in the engraving. A detailed analysis of both figures in the drawing reveals critical aspects of the population. Goya contrasts the woman and her children with society’s ruling class, those who first fled, leaving the defenseless population behind: the Church, represented by a priest; the landowners and municipal authorities, symbolized by the figure accompanying the clergyman. In his drawing, Goya characterizes the priest as an obese coward carrying the treasured ecclesiastical ornaments on his head. In the print, he makes the point even clearer by replacing the bundle on the priest’s head with a bag of money on his lap. Clergyman fleeing in panic also appear in earlier prints from this series, where members of diverse religious orders are shown traversing the countryside, escaping either the French advance or the disentailment decreed by the government of Joseph I. While the Disasters are characterized by the marked presence of human figures -they tend to occupy almost the entire composition, isolated from the minimally defined spaces around them- the background landscapes occasionally play a relevant role in defining their contexts. The present drawing and print are fine examples, calling for mention of the place from which the people are fleeing: a country house on the right, over which the ruins of a characteristic medieval castle preside. The latter’s barely erect towers somehow constitute a further allusion to the association of war with destruction (Text drawn from Matilla, J. M.: Yo lo ví, in: Goya en tiempos de Guerra, Madrid: Museo Nacional del Prado, 2008, p. 298).


Technical data

Related artworks

I saw it
Etching, Burin, Drypoint on wove paper, 1810 - 1814
Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de
Inventory number
Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de
I saw it
1810 - 1815
Red chalk; Conté crayon
Laid paper
Height: 177 mm; Width: 234 mm
Desastres de la guerra [dibujo], 44
Javier Goya, Madrid, 1828; Mariano Goya, Madrid, 1854; Valentín Carderera, Madrid, c. 1861; Mariano Carderera, Madrid, 1880; Museo del Prado, 1886.

Bibliography +

D'Achiardi, Pierre, Les Dessins de D. Francisco de Goya y Lucientes au Musée du Prado à Madrid, D. Anderson, Roma, 1908.

Delteil, Loys, Francisco Goya: Le peintre graveur ilustré, I, Chez L'Auteur, Paris, 1922.

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

Sánchez Cantón, Francisco Javier, Sala de los dibujos de Goya, II, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1928, pp. 24, n.138.

Lafuente Ferrari, Enrique, Los desastres de la guerra de Goya y sus dibujos preparatorios, Instituto Amatller de Arte Hispánico, Barcelona, 1952, pp. 26, 66, 166.

Sánchez Cantón, Francisco Javier, Los dibujos de Goya reproducidos a su tamaño y su color. Estudios para Los Caprichos, Los Desastres de la guerra, La Tauromaquia y dibujos no grabados, I, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1954, pp. 107.

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, pp. nº 1065.

Gassier, Pierre, Dibujos de Goya. Estudios para grabados y pinturas, II, Noguer, Barcelona, 1973, pp. 254.

Sayre, Eleanor, The Changing Image. Prints by Francisco Goya, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1974, pp. 185.

Derozier, C., La Guerre D'Independance Espagnole a Travers L'Estampe (1808-1814), Universidad de Lille, Lille, 1976, pp. 907.

Gillaud, J., Goya (1746-1828). Peintures, Dessins, Gravures, Centre Culturel du Marais, París, 1979, pp. nº 60.

Gamaboni, D., Emblemes de la Liberte. L'Image de la Republique Dans L'Art, Editions Staempfli & Cie S.A., Berna, 1991.

Blas, Javier, El libro de los desastres de la guerra Francisco de Goya, Museo del Prado: R.A.B.A.S.F., Madrid, 2000.

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.

Goya en tiempos de guerra, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2008, pp. 298.

Bordes J., Matilla J.M. y Balsells, 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 Y Madrid, 2009, pp. 168.

Goya: luces y sombras. Obras maestras del Museo del Prado, The Yomiuri Shimbun, Tokyo, 2011, pp. 188-189.

Matilla Rodríguez, José Manuel, Ligereza y atrevimiento. Dibujos de Goya, Fundación Botín, Santander, 2017, pp. 54 n.19.

Filigree +

Motive: Letras "[J K]OOL"

14 x 46 mm
28 mm.
J. Kool
Los productores de papel holandeses de la familia Kool comenzaron su actividad hacia 1728, fecha que Churchill atribuye al primer documento con esta marca de agua. Jan Kool figura como propietario del molino “De Bosem” en Koog aan de Zaan, Holanda, desde 1774, cuando lo compró a la disuelta compañía Van der Ley, que estaba especializada en la fabricación de papel blanco, continuando con esta misma producción. Kool trabajó bajo la firma “J. Kool” y “Jan Kool & Company” hasta su fallecimiento en 1816, cuando heredó la dirección del negocio su sobrino, Jan Jacobs Kool. Finalmente, tras la muerte de este en 1837, el molino “De Bosem” fue vendido de nuevo, dejando de producir papel definitivamente.

La filigrana de letra "J. Kool" suele ir acompañada con los diversos motivos de esta marca: flor de lis, escudo de Estrasburgo, racimo de uvas y otros.

Voorn, Henk, De papiermolens in de provincie Noord-Holland, Papierwereld,, Haarlem, 1960, pp. 553.
Churchill, William Algernon, Watermarks in paper, in Holland, England, France, etc., in the XVII and XVIII centuries and their interconnection, B. De Graaf, Nieuwkoop, 1985, pp. 5-18.

Other inventories +

Catálogo Gassier, 1975. Núm. II 195.

Colección Dibujos Goya (Numeración Sánchez Catón). Núm. 138.

Catálogo Goya, Pierre Gassier y Juliet Wilson. Núm. 1065.

Inscriptions +

"7" (repasado)
Inscribed. Front, lower left corner

Exhibitions +

Goya. Drawings. "Only my Strength of Will Remains"
20.11.2019 - 16.02.2020

Solo la voluntad me sobra. Dibujos de Francisco de Goya
19.11.2019 - 16.02.2020

Ligereza y atrevimiento. Dibujos de Goya
22.06.2017 - 30.09.2017

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

Goya: luces y sombras. Obras maestras del Museo del Prado / Goya: Lights and Shadows. Masterpieces of the Museo del Prado
22.10.2011 - 29.01.2012

Goya in Times of War
15.04.2008 - 13.07.2008

Emblémes de la Liberté. L' Image de la République dans L'Art du XVIeme au XIXeme Siècle
31.05.1991 - 15.09.1992

Update date: 07-07-2022 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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