Francisco de Goya

What's the fuss?

What's the fuss?
Datos Generales
Ca. 1820 - 1823
180 x 221 mm
Técnica y soporte
Aguafuerte, aguatinta bruñida y/o lavis, buril y bruñidor
Reconocimiento de la autoría de Goya
Undisputed work
Ficha: realización/revisión
22 Dec 2010 / 24 May 2023

See Sad forebodings of what is to come.

The title of the print was handwritten by Goya on the first and only series known to us at the time of its production, which the painter gave to his friend Agustín Ceán Bermúdez. Thus the title was subsequently engraved on the plate without any modification from Ceán Bermúdez's copy for the first edition of Disasters of War published by the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando in Madrid in 1863.

No preparatory drawing has survived.

Análisis artístico

The last sixteen prints in the series of Los desastres de la guerra constitute what is called in the original title of Ceán Bermúdez's album Emphatic Caprices. In them, through symbolism that is often difficult to decipher and almost hermetic, perhaps because of the harshness of its content, Goya openly criticises the regime of Ferdinand VII (San Lorenzo of El Escorial, 1784-Madrid, 1833), who reigned from 1813 until his death. To a certain extent, the critical sense of the emphatic Caprichos allows us to interpret them as a return to Goya's first great series, Los Caprichos, in which the Aragonese artist questioned many aspects of the politics and society of his time.

In the engraving in question, a soldier who is writing stops his work to watch two women, one dressed in white and the other in black, being harassed by two furious dogs. The women are shaking and placing their hands in their hair, which is blown by the wind. Behind these two female figures, Goya has recorded other people in a mist who seem to be queuing up behind them.

This is a rather dark print in which Goya used aquatint. He has etched the figures and created an important contrast between the light clothes of the woman in the centre and the darker clothes of the woman next to her.

There are various explanations for the meaning of this engraving. For Enrique Lafuente, print no. 65 is the transition between those reflecting the horrors of war and the emphatic caprices in which Goya criticises Spanish society and the political scene after the war. The women are holding their hands over their heads because, according to Lafuente, they are receiving the news of their ruin, decreed by the invader who took various measures to strip the population of their crops or their money and thus obtain support for the army.

Jesusa Vega relates the scene to the departure of the French from Madrid, provoked by the entry of General Wellington and his troops. She also points out that if we look closely at the following prints we can understand that Goya is referring to what happened on 27 May 1813 when the French finally left Madrid. He also explains that it is difficult to know which army this soldier belonged to, as the uniform he is wearing was worn by the French, although it was also characteristic of the Logroño militia.


The plate is in the National Chalcography (cat. 316).

  • De grafiek van Goya
    Rijksmuseum Rijksprentenkabinet
    from November 13th 1970 to January 17th 1971
  • 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
  • Goya artista de su tiempo y Goya artista único
    The National Museum of Western Art
    from December 1st to July 3th 1999
  • 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 et la modernité
    Pinacothèque de Paris
    from October 11st 2013 to March 16th 2014
  • 2022
  • BERUETE Y MONET, Aureliano de
    Goya, grabador
    MadridBlass S.A.
    cat. 167
  • HARRIS, Tomás
    Goya engravings and lithographs, vol. I y II.
    OxfordBruno Cassirer
    cat. 185
  • GASSIER, Pierre y WILSON, Juliet
    Vie et ouvre de Francisco de Goya
    ParísOffice du livre
    cat. 1104
  • SANTIAGO, Elena M. (coordinadora)
    Catálogo de las estampas de Goya en la Biblioteca Nacional
    MadridMinisterio de Educación y Cultura, Biblioteca Nacional
    cat. 280
  • OROPESA, Marisa and RINCÓN GARCÍA, Wilfredo
    ParísPinacoteca de París
    p. 152
    Goya. In the Norton Simon Museum
    PasadenaNorton Simon Museum
    pp. 114-151
    Museo de Bellas Artes de Badajoz y Diputación de Badajoz
    p. 85
Enlaces externos
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