About This Artwork

Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes
Spanish, 1746-1828

Even Worse, plate 22 from The Disasters of War, 1810, published 1863

Etching, lavis and burin on ivory wove paper with gilt edges
123 x 198 mm (image); 160 x 250 mm (plate); 240 x 340 mm (sheet)

Gift of J. C. Cebrian, 1920.1327

Many in Francisco de Goya’s coterie were afrancesados (supporters of French rule in Spain). They believed that Spanish politics could not be reformed without Napoleonic intervention. Not surprisingly, Goya never publicly declared where he stood in the fray; as a court painter, he needed a court to paint and thus it was pragmatic of him to remain noncommittal during this uncertain time. The artist’s ambivalence shows in his Disasters of War series. He generalized atrocities by both the French and Spanish, portraying them as physically interchangeable, equating their sins, and leaving their bodies unidentified.

Interpretive Resources

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