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80 Engravings from "Los Desastres de la Guerra" Made by Francisco de Goya sold for US 111,000
Los Desastres de la Guerra" (The Disasters of War) made by Francisco de Goya. Photo: EFE


MADRID.-Spanish auction house Durán sold 80 engravings from the collection "Los Desastres de la Guerra" (The Disasters of War) made by Francisco de Goya for US $111.000. The engravings were published by the Real Academia de San Fernando in 1863.

In the 1810s, Goya created a set of aquatint prints titled The Disasters of War (Los desastres de la guerra) which depict scenes from the Peninsular War. The scenes are singularly disturbing, sometimes macabre in their depiction of battlefield horror, and represent an outraged conscience in the face of death and destruction. The prints were not published until 1863, 35 years after Goya's death.

Like other Spanish liberals, Goya was personally placed in a difficult position by the French invasion. He had supported the initial aims of the French Revolution, and hoped for a similar development in Spain. Several of his friends, like the poets Juan Meléndez Valdés and Leandro Fernández de Moratín, were overt Afrancesados, the term for the supporters – collaborators in the view of many – of Joseph Bonaparte. Goya's 1798 portrait of the French ambassador-turned-commandant Ferdinand Guillemardet betrays a personal admiration. Yet while maintaining his position as court painter, for which an oath of loyalty to Joseph was necessary, Goya had by nature an instinctive dislike of authority. He witnessed the subjugation of his countrymen by the French troops. During these years he painted little, although the experiences of the occupation provided inspiration for drawings that would form the basis for his prints The Disasters of War (Los desastres de la guerra).

Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes was an Aragonese Spanish painter and printmaker. Goya was a court painter to the Spanish Crown and a chronicler of history. He has been regarded both as the last of the Old Masters and as the first of the moderns. The subversive and subjective element in his art, as well as his bold handling of paint, provided a model for the work of later generations of artists, notably Manet and Picasso.





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