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Why? (Plate 32 from the series: The Disasters of War}

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Why? (Plate 32 from the series: The Disasters of War}

Artist: Francisco Goya (Spanish, 1746 - 1828)

Date: 1808-15/1863
Medium: Etching and aquatint on paper
Overall: 9 3/8 x 13in. (23.8 x 33cm)
Image: 7 7/16in. (18.9cm)
Inscribed: Recto, upper left corner of image: "52"; lower left corner, below image: "49"; center, below image: "Por qué?"
Credit Line: Gift of Edward W. Root
Object number: 53.121
Label Text
Goya was the most important Spanish artist of the late 18th and early 19th century. His paintings reflect remarkable psychological insights and a profound sympathy for the causes of intellectual and political freedom. Beginning in 1793 he also began producing an important body of graphic work. This print shares with the adjacent image by Callot a disgust for the terror, chaos, brutality and insanity of war. It was one of a series of sixty-three images inspired by the Napoleonic invasion of Spain in 1808. Goya made these prints between 1808 and 1815 but no impressions were published during his lifetime. Thirty-five years after Goya's death the plates were acquired from the artist's estate by the Royal Academy of S. Ferdinand which published them for the first time the following year, at a time when Goya and other Spanish artists were being enthusiastically rediscovered. The ten prints by Goya that Root bequeathed to the museum suggest that he had a particular sympathy for Goya's graphic oeuvre. Only the large collection of lithographs by Daumier that Root gave the museum exceed in number the prints he gave by Goya.

February 2005
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