Francisco de Goya

There was nothing to be done and he died (Espiró sin remedio)

There was nothing to be done and he died (Espiró sin remedio)
Datos Generales
Ca. 1812 - 1815
156 x 209 mm
Técnica y soporte
Aguafuerte, lavis, aguatinta bruñida, buril y bruñidor
Reconocimiento de la autoría de Goya
Undisputed work
Ficha: realización/revisión
16 Dec 2012 / 14 Apr 2021

43 (on the lower left-hand corner of the plate).


See Sad presentiments of what must come to pass.

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

In the centre of this print a group of people is gathered around someone who, as the work's title indicates, has just died. Two of the group have their backs to the viewer, while a third kneels down, perhaps in an attempt to help, and in the background two old women contemplate the scene. Next to the old women is a younger woman who is carrying a basket.

The highly granulated texture afforded by the use of aquatint on the entire background and a large part of the floor gives the scene an unreal air. There are no references in the work that allow the viewer to work out the time of day or location where this event is taking place. Goya has used this device before, in print no. 50 Unhappy mother! (Madre infeliz!), in which the artist also omits all spatial references.

In this print Goya continues to explore the grave consequences of the famine that ravaged the population during the Spanish War of Independence.


The plate is stored in the National Chalcography (cat. 304).

  • 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
  • BERUETE Y MONET, Aureliano de
    Goya, grabador
    MadridBlass S.A.
    cat. 155
  • HARRIS, Tomás
    Goya engravings and lithographs, vol. I y II.
    Bruno Cassirer
    cat. 173
  • GASSIER, Pierre y WILSON, Juliet
    Vie et ouvre de Francisco de Goya
    ParísOffice du livre
    cat. 1080
  • SANTIAGO, Elena M. (coordinadora)
    Catálogo de las estampas de Goya en la Biblioteca Nacional
    MadridMinisterio de Educación y Cultura, Biblioteca Nacional
    cat. 262
Enlaces externos
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