Francisco de Goya

And are like wild beasts (Y son fieras)

Clasificación
And are like wild beasts (Y son fieras)
Datos Generales
Cronología
Ca. 1812 - 1815
Dimensiones
156 x 208 mm
Técnica y soporte
Etching, burnished aquatint and drypoint
Reconocimiento de la autoría de Goya
Undisputed work
Ficha: realización/revisión
25 Nov 2010 / 14 Apr 2021
Inscripciones

28 (lower left-hand corner).

Historia

See Sad presentiments of what must come to pass.

In the second state proof we can see where the burnisher has been used on the upper part of the plate, on the body of the speared soldier and on the right thigh of the woman lying off to the left-hand side. Drypoint has been applied on the trousers of the speared soldier in the foreground. This state proof was made before the lettering was added and the additional aquatint was applied.

There exists another state proof, with the number 5 already engraved, in which the aquatint has been removed from the edges apart from in a small area at the bottom.

The title was handwritten by Goya on the first and only print run that we know to have been made at the time, and which the painter gave to his friend Agustín Ceán Bermúdez. The title was engraved on to the copperplate at a later date, and no other modifications were made to the image for the first edition of the Disasters of War, which was printed by the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando, Madrid, in 1863.

No preparatory drawings for this print have been conserved.

Análisis artístico

In the foreground, a woman, with a child held under one arm, drives a spear into a soldier, mortally wounding him. Beside her, and slightly further back, another woman is lying on the ground, with a dagger clasped in one hand. In the middle ground, several figures are entangled in a vicious struggle on the ground: off to one side a soldier, shown in profile, takes aim with his rifle; a woman stabs a sword into a French soldier; and another holds a large stone over her head, ready to hurl it.

Just as in print no. 4, The women give courage, here Goya has used diagonal lines in the composition to produce a strong sensation of instability and movement. Only the prone woman, the woman on the left who is about to throw the stone, and the soldier aiming his gun on the right-hand side contribute any kind of stability to the scene, constituting a sort of parenthesis that serves to mark the edges of the situation. It is difficult to make out against whom the figures at the back are fighting. It almost seems as if they are all fighting against one another, as if they form part of the same wild mob, driven by a fervent, irrational violence.

Here aquatint has been used more moderately, with less intensity than in the previous print. The background is somewhat paler and the white surface of the two figures in the foreground helps to emphasize their importance.

Looking beyond the prevailing chaos of this image, Goya sets out to remind us of the prominence of women in the struggle, of their ferocity. Here, in And are like wild beasts, he continues with the theme of women's role in war that he began in print no. 4, The women give courage. In addition, the presence of the half-naked child, which the woman in the foreground carries under her arm, brings to mind the biblical story of the slaughter of the innocents.

Conservación

The etching plate is conserved in the National Chalcography Museum (cat. 256).

Exposiciones
  • Goya
    Ministry of Foreing Affairs
    Burdeos
    1951
    organized by the Bordeaux City Hall, consultant editor Gilberte Martin-Méry. From May 16th to June 30th 1951
  • Goya. Das Zeitalter der Revolucionen. Kunst um 1800 (1980 – 1981)
    Hamburger Kunsthalle
    Hamburg
    1980
  • Goya y el espíritu de la Ilustración
    Museo Nacional del Prado
    Madrid
    1988
    from October 6th to December 18th 1988. Exhibited also at Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, January 18th to March 26th 1989; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Nueva York, May 9th to July 16th 1989, Madrid curator Manuela B. Mena Marqués, scientific directors Alfonso E. Pérez Sánchez and Eleanor A. Sayre
  • Francisco de Goya
    Museo d'Arte Moderna
    Lugano
    1996
    exhibition celebrated from September 22nd to November 17th.
  • Francisco Goya. Sein leben im spiegel der graphik. Fuendetodos 1746-1828 Bordeaux. 1746-1996
    Galerie Kornfeld
    Bern
    1996
    from November 21st 1996 to January 1997
  • Francisco Goya. Capricci, follie e disastri della guerra
    San Donato Milanese
    2000
    Opere grafiche della Fondazione Antonio Mazzotta
  • Goya's Realism
    Statens Museum for Kunst
    Copenhagen
    2000
    from February 11th to May 7th 2000
  • Goya. Opera grafica
    Pinacoteca del Castello di San Giorgio
    Legnano
    2006
    exhibition celebrated from December 16th 2006 to April 1st 2007
  • Goya et la modernité
    Pinacothèque de Paris
    París
    2013
    from October 11st 2013 to March 16th 2014
Bibliografía
  • Aureliano de Beruete Y Moret
    Goya, grabador
    MadridBlass S.A.
    1918
    cat. 107
  • Tomás Harris
    Goya engravings and lithographs, vol. I y II.
    Bruno Cassirer
    1964
    cat. 125
  • GASSIER, Pierre y WILSON, Juliet
    Vie et ouvre de Francisco de Goya
    ParísOffice du livre
    1970
    cat. 998
  • Juan Carrete Parrondo
    Vicisitudes de algunas láminas grabadas por Francisco de Goya: Los desastres de la guerra, Los disparates, La tauromaquia
    Goya145-150
    1978-1979
    cat. 125
  • MENA, Manuela B. (comisaria) and PÉREZ SÁNCHEZ, Alfonso E. y SAYRE, Eleanor A. (directores)
    Goya y el espíritu de la Ilustración
    MadridMuseo del Prado
    1988
    cat. 83
  • SANTIAGO, Elena M. (coordinadora)
    Catálogo de las estampas de Goya en la Biblioteca Nacional
    MadridMinisterio de Educación y Cultura, Biblioteca Nacional
    1996
    cat. 188
Enlaces externos
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