Francisco de Goya

Datos Generales
Ca. 1810 - 1812
177 x 220 mm
Técnica y soporte
Etching, aquatint, burin, drypoint and burnisher
Reconocimiento de la autoría de Goya
Undisputed work
Ficha: realización/revisión
06 Dec 2010 / 14 Apr 2021

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

An afrancesado or perhaps a French soldier is being beaten before the enthusiastic and rather indifferent gaze of a crowd of people, including a priest wearing a saturn hat. The victim's feet are tied together and the upper part of his body is exposed. A man and woman are giving their victim a brutal beating, the woman beating him with a rod while the man uses a half moon or crescent staff, a tool used to cut the tendons of bulls. The posture of the body of the man under attack makes it look like they are actually beating a dead body.

The exultant mob that vents its fury against the enemy, who in this case may already be dead, is the same crowd that often faced up to the French invaders in an improvised, risky stand with the brutality that Goya captures in this print. The painter's critical attitude towards this type of popular, extremely violent action is shown in the faces of the protagonists. The man using the half moon has a faraway look, a lost expression as if he were motivated by an irrational impulse. The artist also criticises the inaction of the crowd, which is perhaps so accustomed to witnessing this kind of scene that they no longer feel disgusted or repelled.

This print may have links to the death of the Marquis of Perales, a young aristocrat who was unjustly accused of supporting Joseph Bonaparte (Corte, 1768 - Florence, 1844). However, it is also possible that we are before a generic scene, since this kind of violent event must have been very common in times of war.

Mob is closely linked to the following print, He Deserved It,in which Goya once again depicts a violent scene peopled by a raving crowd.


The plate is stored in the National Chalcography (cat. 279)

  • Goya. Das Zeitalter der Revolucionen. Kunst um 1800 (1980 – 1981)
    Hamburger Kunsthalle
  • 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. La imagen de la mujer
    Museo Nacional del Prado
    from October 30th 2001 to February 10th 2002. Exhibitied also at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, March 10th to June 2nd 2002, consultant editor Francisco Calvo Serraller
  • Goya. Opera grafica
    Pinacoteca del Castello di San Giorgio
    exhibition celebrated from December 16th 2006 to April 1st 2007
  • Goya en tiempos de guerra
    Museo Nacional del Prado
    consultant editor Manuela B. Mena Marqués, from April 14th to July 13th 2008
  • Goya et la modernité
    Pinacothèque de Paris
    from October 11st 2013 to March 16th 2014
  • Aureliano de Beruete Y Moret
    Goya, grabador
    MadridBlass S.A.
    cat. 130
  • Tomás Harris
    Goya engravings and lithographs, vol. I y II.
    Bruno Cassirer
    cat. 148
  • GASSIER, Pierre y WILSON, Juliet
    Vie et ouvre de Francisco de Goya
    ParísOffice du livre
    cat. 1040
  • Alfredo de Paz
    Goya. Arte e condizione umana
    NaplesLiguori editore
    lam. 200
  • SANTIAGO, Elena M. (coordinadora)
    Catálogo de las estampas de Goya en la Biblioteca Nacional
    MadridMinisterio de Educación y Cultura, Biblioteca Nacional
    cat. 230
Enlaces externos
Obra relacionada
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