Francisco de Goya

They Can Still Be of Use (Aun podrán servir)

They Can Still Be of Use (Aun podrán servir)
Datos Generales
Ca. 1810 - 1812
163 x 260 mm
Técnica y soporte
Etching and burnisher
Reconocimiento de la autoría de Goya
Undisputed work
Ficha: realización/revisión
02 Dec 2010 / 27 Jul 2017

Goya (lower left-hand corner), 12 (lower left-hand corner).


See Sad presentiments of what must come to pass.

The first artist's proof shows the retouches carried out before the writing and signature were added with burin on the lower left-hand corner.

The title was handwritten on the print by Goya in the first and only series that is known to have been printed at the time the works were created, which the artist gave to his friend Agustín Ceán Bermúdez. Therefore, the title was etched into the plate at a later date and left unchanged as of the first edition of the Disasters of War printed by the San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Madrid in 1863, after the printing of the series in the possession of Ceán Bermúdez.

There is a surviving preparatory drawing for this print which is housed in the Prado Museum in Madrid.

Análisis artístico

A battle has just ended next to a fortress, leaving various wounded men who are being assisted by others. In the foreground, two men are picking up the body of a badly injured soldier, while further back another two men are carrying another soldier on an improvised stretcher. In the background on the left two men are carrying the body of another injured man.

Goya uses dense, horizontal etched marks to create a vast black area below on the right-hand side of the print, which contrasts with the bright, cloudless sky and the clothes of the figures in the composition. The faces of the figures have been captured with precision, displaying a wide range of expressions of pain, agony, anguish, desolation, and so on.

This piece refers back to print no. 20, Treat them, then on to other matters the artist also revisits the theme in print no. 25, These Too, reiterating the idea that the wounded were often rescued and assisted in order to send them forth into battle once more.


The plate is stored in the National Chalcography (cat. 275)

  • Goya and his times
    The Royal Academy of Arts
    cat. 66
  • Francisco de Goya
    Museo d'Arte Moderna
    exhibition celebrated from September 22nd to November 17th.
  • Francisco Goya. Sein leben im spiegel der graphik. Fuendetodos 1746-1828 Bordeaux. 1746-1996
    Galerie Kornfeld
    from November 21st 1996 to January 1997
  • Francisco Goya. Capricci, follie e disastri della guerra
    San Donato Milanese
    Opere grafiche della Fondazione Antonio Mazzotta
  • Goya. Opera grafica
    Pinacoteca del Castello di San Giorgio
    exhibition celebrated from December 16th 2006 to April 1st 2007
  • Goya et la modernité
    Pinacothèque de Paris
    from October 11st 2013 to March 16th 2014
  • Goya, grabador
    Aureliano de Beruete Y Moret
    cat. 126
    Blass S.A.
  • Goya engravings and lithographs, vol. I y II.
    Tomás Harris
    cat. 144
    Bruno Cassirer
  • Vie et ouvre de Francisco de Goya
    Juliet Wilson and Pierre Gassier
    cat. 1033
    Office du livre
  • Catálogo de las estampas de Goya en la Biblioteca Nacional
    Elena M. (Coordinadora) Santiago
    cat. 224
    Ministerio de Educación y Cultura, Biblioteca Nacional
Enlaces externos
Obra relacionada
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