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There is No Time Left
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

There is No Time Left

1810 - 1814. Pencil, Red chalk on ivory laid paper Not on display

Rather than simply reflecting concrete events, Goya sought to capture their essence. He therefore placed himself alongside the action, taking part in a way that no previous artist ever had. This explains the proximity of the figures presented in each of the Disasters, which are monumental and very close to the viewer, barely leaving room for anecdotal details in the background. It is possible to interpret the Disasters in terms of documented events, as information about the war was abundantly present on the street, in the press, in pamphlets and literature and even in the theater. Goya was capable of creating completely new images based on those events and on the information they generated. He thus transformed reality into new images with no previous formal precedents, and his creations were to become universal referents of the disastrous outcome of warfare. The Disasters of War are the maximum expression ever achieved by any artist of the irrationality of violence and its terrible consequences for humanity. The essence of these works is their intention to make the subject of violence universally graspable, to convey the essence of the evil that is involved, and to offer us images in whose presence we cannot remain indifferent, as their mere contemplation constitutes a blow to our conscience. Another essential aspect of this series is its titles, which contrast with those in other prints from those years. As already occurs with the Caprichos, the laconic expressions that appear beneath the images are quite different from the descriptive texts that accompany other prints published during the war, or later, for commemorative purposes. Sometimes, Goya needs only one world to sum up the idea expressed by the action and to convey his moral judgment of it. As in the Caprichos, Goya has not organized the eighty prints in a rigorous manner. Despite the existence of two different sets of numbers on the plates, it is impossible to clearly determine what criteria he applied when ordering the series. Three large groups can be identified, but within each of these, the subjects are repeated and alternated. There are short chains of images whose links are reinforced by the titles, but there is not always any methodic approach to grouping prints with the same subject matter. It is as though Goya sought to point out how random war itself is, as one never knows what will happen next. Nonetheless, it is possible to establish thematic groups that help to understand the different aspects addressed by Goya, although we must keep in mind that the indisputable protagonist of these works, and the subject that underlies them all, is death. Instead of heroic, obsequious images, Goya presents violence and death in their purest form. Nothing could be clearer than his canvases of May 2 and 3 for understanding their scant commemorative success in a setting where exacerbated patriotism and limitless praise were the rule. Goya’s war-oriented works do not present military or popular heroes combating the French, which were well known thanks to widely distributed publications and galleries of engraved portraits. Instead, he depicts real events -their essence, the universal representation of heroism, brutality, hunger, desperation, destruction, and most of all, death. And all of this is personified by anonymous participants -the people- who are the true victims of war. This focus on the population, on the combatants, and in sum, on human beings, is an equally essential aspect of the Disasters. Goya’s almost exclusive use of etching here makes his figures’ contours stand out forcefully against practically empty backgrounds whose tonal nuances are almost nonexistent. This serves, in turn, to accentuate the tragic aspects of the horror and death presented in his chosen scenes. Thus, the anonymous figures stand out in indeterminate spaces. The compositions are frequently pyramidal, combining and contrasting black and white as dramatic and symbolic values that lead the viewers’ eyes to the most relevant aspects of the scene. This notably reduces the separation between viewer and protagonist, creating a proximity that surpasses the purely visual to enter the field of emotions. And there we find Goya’s true objective: to emotionally affect the viewer/reader of these prints. The first part of the Disasters depicts different aspects of war’s violence. If women are generally presented in a positive light in this series, it is because most of the times they appear as victims -of rape (9, 11, 13, 19), repression (26), bombing (30) or looting (44). But like the men, women also take on an evil role that reflects the lack of humanity present in the irrational, brutal and unnecessary violence that the Spanish people wrought on the French and the frenchified (28, 29). Goya’s fierce criticism of such reprehensible behavior is conveyed by the facial expressions he assigns to these mobs (Text drawn from Matilla, J. M., Estampas españolas de la Guerra de la Independencia: propaganda, conmemoración y testimonio, in: Cuadernos Dieciochistas, Salamanca: Universidad de Salamanca, n. 8, 2007, pp. 260-265).

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Related artworks

There is No Time Left
Wash on ivory paper, 1810 - 1814
Inventory number
D003967
Author
Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de
Title
There is No Time Left
Date
1810 - 1814
Technique
Pencil; Red chalk
Support
Ivory laid paper
Dimension
Height: 186 mm.; Width: 234 mm.
Series
Desastres de la guerra [dibujo], 19
Provenance
Javier Goya; Mariano Goya; Valentín Carderera; Mariano Carderera; Museo del Prado, 12-11-1886.

Bibliography +

D'Achiardi, Pierre, Les Dessins de D. Francisco de Goya y Lucientes Au Musée du Prado à Madrid, II, 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. 124.

Adhemar, J., Goya: Exposition de L'Oeuvre grave, de peintures, de tapisseries et de cent dix dessins du Musée du Prado, Bibliothèque National, Paris, 1935, pp. 43.

Lafuente Ferrari, Enrique, Los desastres de la guerra de Goya y sus dibujos preparatorios, Instituto Amatller de Arte Hispánico, Barcelona, 1952, pp. 61, 148.

Uberwasser, Goya: gemalde, zeichnungen, graphik, tapisserien, Kunsthalle Basel, Basilea, 1953, pp. 86.

Sánchez Cantón, Francisco Javier, Los dibujos de Goya : reproducidos a su tamaño y su color, I, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1954, pp. 93.

Gassier, Pierre, Vie et oeuvre de Francisco de Goya: l' oeuvre complet illustré: peintures, dessins, gravures, Office du Livre, Fribourg, 1970, pp. nº 1023.

Gassier, Pierre, Dibujos de Goya. Estudios para grabados y pinturas., II, Noguer, Barcelona, 1973, pp. 224.

Derozier, C., La Guerre D'Independance Espagnole a Travers L'Estampe (1808..., II, Universidad de Lille, Lille, 1976, pp. 869.

Pérez Sánchez, A. E., Mena Marqués, M. B., Goya, Europalia, Bruselas, 1985, pp. 237.

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.

Bodes 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 Arte de San Fernando, Las Palmas De Gran Canaria Y Madrid, 2009, pp. 118.

Other inventories +

Colección Dibujos Goya (Numeración Sánchez Catón). Núm. 124.

Catálogo Goya, Pierre Gassier y Juliet Wilson. Núm. 1023.

Exhibitions +

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

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

Location +

Room B (Temporary Exhibition)

Exposición Temporal
Update date: 19-11-2019 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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