Francisco de Goya

The custody of a prisoner does not call for torture (La seguridad de un reo no exige tormento)

Clasificación
The custody of a prisoner does not call for torture (La seguridad de un reo no exige tormento)
Datos Generales
Cronología
Ca. 1810 - 1815
Dimensiones
115 x 85 mm
Técnica y soporte
Etching and burin
Reconocimiento de la autoría de Goya
Undisputed work
Ficha: realización/revisión
16 Nov 2010 / 14 Apr 2021
Historia

See The Blind Guitarrist and The custody is as barbarous as the crime.

The title of this work is taken from the handwritten title of a state proof that Goya included in the album of his Disasters of War prints which he gave to his friend Ceán Bermúdez and which is now in the British Museum, London.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, has a preparatory drawing for this etching.

Análisis artístico

In this etching we see a prisoner, arranged diagonally in an unnatural, precarious posture. His face is hidden from view since he is looking down at the floor. His feet, held in large shackles, occupy the lower right-hand corner of the composition, whilst his head and his arms, tied behind his back, occupy the upper left-hand corner. The man is only able to rest his heels on the floor, forcing them to take the whole weight of his body. He is dressed in torn, ragged clothes, with most of his legs uncovered. In the background we can make out a barred window, through which only a tiny glimmer of light enters the cell.

Goya has constructed an extremely dark space using very tightly-packed lines, which have been applied diagonally for the floor and horizontally for the background. The light falls mainly on the prisoner's legs and left shoulder, as well as on his clothes, the brightness of which is an allusion to his innocence.

This etching must have been made at the same time as The custody is as barbarous as the crime and If he is guilty, let him die quickly, and can also be related to various prints from the Disasters of War series, in which Goya depicts scenes of prisoners condemned to death, clearly demonstrating his opposition to capital punishment. The title of this work is very clear on this point, with Goya pointing out that it is unnecessary to subject prisoners to such physical torture in order to prevent them from escaping.

Conservación

The plate for this etching has been lost.

Exposiciones
  • Exposición de la obra grabada de Goya
    Sociedad Española de Amigos del Arte
    Madrid
    1928
    catalogue by Miguel Velasco Aguirre
  • Grabados y dibujos de Goya en la Biblioteca Nacional
    Biblioteca Nacional
    Madrid
    1946
    catalogue Elena Páez Ríos
  • Goya en la Biblioteca Nacional. Exposición de grabados y dibujos en el sesquicentenario de su muerte
    Biblioteca Nacional
    Madrid
    1978
    May - June 1978
  • Goya grabador
    Fundación Juan March
    Madrid
    1994
    consultant editors Alfonso E. Pérez Sánchez and Julián Gállego, from January 14th to March 20th 1994
  • Goya artista de su tiempo y Goya artista único
    The National Museum of Western Art
    Tokyo
    1999
    from December 1st to July 3th 1999
  • Goya en tiempos de guerra
    Museo Nacional del Prado
    Madrid
    2008
    consultant editor Manuela B. Mena Marqués, from April 14th to July 13th 2008
Bibliografía
  • BERUETE Y MONET, Aureliano de
    Goya, grabador
    MadridBlass S.A.
    1918
    cat. 263
  • HARRIS, Tomás
    Goya engravings and lithographs, vol. I y II.
    Bruno Cassirer
    1964
    cat. 988
  • GASSIER, Pierre y WILSON, Juliet
    Vie et ouvre de Francisco de Goya
    ParísOffice du livre
    1970
    cat. 27
  • SANTIAGO, Elena M. (coordinadora)
    Catálogo de las estampas de Goya en la Biblioteca Nacional
    MadridMinisterio de Educación y Cultura, Biblioteca Nacional
    1996
    cat. 69
  • MENA MARQUÉS, Manuela B.
    Goya en tiempos de guerra
    MadridMuseo Nacional del Prado
    2008
    p. 351
Enlaces externos
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