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The Disasters of War: Rightly or Wrongly, 1863

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes

Spanish, 1746-1828
Etching, 1st Edition
plate: 15.5 x 20.5 cm. (6 1/8 x 8 1/16 in); sheet: 24.1 x 32.4 cm. (9 1/2 x 12 3/4 in)
The Norton Simon Foundation
© The Norton Simon Foundation

Not on view

1st Edition

"Disasters of War" is a commentary on the brutality and senselessness of war. Begun during the Napoleonic invasion and occupation of Spain (1808-1814), and published posthumously in 1863, this series of prints raises the visual horrors of war to a new level. Goya's imagery is visually more modern than the earlier depictions of violence found in the prints of Dutch and French artists. Here graphic scenes of torture, rape, mutilation, and execution confront the viewer with the physicality and psychology of human suffering. Goya is perhaps the first Western artist to capture the terrorism of war in the modern age.

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