Francisco de Goya

Shootings in a Military Camp (Fusilamiento en un campo militar)

Shootings in a Military Camp (Fusilamiento en un campo militar)
Datos Generales
Ca. 1808 - 1810
Marquis of La Romana Collection, Madrid, Spain
33 x 57 cm
Técnica y soporte
Oil on canvas
Reconocimiento de la autoría de Goya
Undisputed work
Marquis of La Romana Collection
Ficha: realización/revisión
11 May 2010 / 22 Nov 2022

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.

Análisis artístico

Due to its dimensions and to the use of an orange-coloured preparation on the canvas, this work can be connected to Gypsy Cave and Interior of a Hospital.

This scene takes place at night inside a military camp. On the left-hand side stands a red tent, adorned with standards and banners. On the ground are a number of dead soldiers wearing blue coats with red and white cuffs and ochre-coloured trousers, telling us that they belong to one of the Spanish regiments active during the Spanish War of Independence. Running towards them is a group of civilians, modestly dressed commoners. Two of them are carrying a wounded man and, slightly further behind, a woman dressed in yellow, drawing our gaze into the centre of the composition, is clinging on to her naked child. With an expression of horror on her face, she is turning her head to look back at the platoon of soldiers behind her, just as they open fire. These other soldiers are part of a foreign army, probably belonging to the forces of Napoleon.

The only source of light in the painting is the flashes of the rifle shots, a detail which further heightens the drama of the scene. The group of civilians was probably trying to find shelter in the Spanish camp, which had been taken by surprise by the French soldiers, who show no mercy to these innocent people, either.

Just as occurs in Third of May, the executioners do not show their faces and have their backs turned to the viewer. This is a device that Goya also used in some of the etchings in the Disasters of War series (no. 2, With or without reason, and no. 32, Why?, for example).

Similarly, the woman who is trying to protect her child connects this work to another of the etchings in this same series, no. 4, entitled I saw this.

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    Ministerio de Instrucción Pública and Bellas Artes
    consultant editors Aureliano de Beruete, Alejandro Ferrant, Marqués de Pidal and Ricardo Velázquez. May 1900
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    Museo Nacional del Prado
    consultant editor Fernando Álvarez de Sotomayor. From April to May 1928
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    Museo Nacional del Prado
    from 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-Bareau
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    Museo Nacional del Prado
    consultant editor Manuela B. Mena Marqués, from April 14th to July 13th 2008
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    MadridMuseo Nacional del Prado
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Enlaces externos
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