- Ca. 1808 - 1812
- Marquis of La Romana Collection, Madrid, Spain
- 40 x 32 cm
- Técnica y soporte
- Oil on canvas
- Reconocimiento de la autoría de Goya
- Documented work
- Marquis of La Romana Collection
- Ficha: realización/revisión
- 11 May 2010 / 14 Apr 2021
The complete series of eleven paintings was acquired from Goya by the Majorcan collector Juan de Salas, father of Dionisia Salas y Boxadors, who was married to Pedro Caro y Sureda (Palma de Mallorca, 1761-Cartaxo, Portugal, 1811), III Marquis of La Romana.
The painting was inherited by its current owners.
A group of bandits are shown killing some men they have attacked on their way along a highway. In the midst of much confusion, an elegantly dressed woman flings her arms in the air and begs for mercy whilst on the right-hand side of the composition a man with a blindfold over his eyes and wearing a white shirt awaits his execution at the hands of the man in the centre, who is taking aim with a gun. The rest of the attackers, armed with pistols, threaten a man lying on the ground.
Goya has painted this work using delicate, thin layers of colour, applied in transparent washes, picked out with small touches of thick paint and outlines drawn in black. This way of working recalls the technique used in the drawings found in the Madrid Album, or Album B, made between 1796 and 1797.
There exists a replica of this painting which belonged to Eissier in Vienna. It was exhibited in the Austrian capital in 1908, listed as coming from the Madrid collection of La Romana.
In this work, Goya has depicted a scene of banditry, a threat which anyone travelling at the time would have been all too aware of. This same subject matter is also dealt with in Stagecoach Hijacking, Bandits' Raid and in the series Capture of the Bandit El Maragato. Although the Aragonese artist tackles the theme realistically in these others works, none of them have the same directness and veracity of Bandits Shooting their Prisoners.
Goya 1900Ministerio de Instrucción Pública and Bellas ArtesMadrid1900consultant editors Aureliano de Beruete, Alejandro Ferrant, Marqués de Pidal and Ricardo Velázquez. May 1900cat. 61
Pinturas de GoyaMuseo Nacional del PradoMadrid1928consultant editor Fernando Álvarez de Sotomayor. From April to May 1928cat. 3
Goya. El Capricho y la Invención. Cuadros de gabinete, bocetos y miniaturasMuseo Nacional del PradoMadrid1993from November 18th 1993 to February 15th 1994. Exhibited also at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, March 18th to June 12th 1994 and The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, July 16th to October 16th 1994, consultant editors Manuela B. Mena Marqués and Juliet Wilson-Bareaucat. 76
L'œuvre peint de Goya. 4 volsParís1928-1950p. 228, cat. 194
Vie et ouvre de Francisco de GoyaParísOffice du livre1970p. 263, cat. 918
vol. I, pp. 294 y 295, cat. 349
L’opera pittorica completa di GoyaMilanRizzoli1974p. 122, cat. 491
Francisco de Goya, 4 vols.ZaragozaCaja de Ahorros de Zaragoza, Aragón y Rioja1980-1982vol. III, p. 192
Goya. El capricho y la invención. Cuadros de gabinete, bocetos y miniaturasMadridMuseo del Prado1993pp. 276, 277, 278, y 279 (il.), cat. 76