Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes, Grande hazaña! Con
Spain Etched 1810-1820, first published 1863
'An heroic feat! With dead men!', plate 39 from the series Los Desastres de la Guerra
Goya presented a set of prints made between 1810 and 1820 to his friend Ceán Bermúdez. These are now in the British Museum.
The manuscript title to the set reads 'Fatal consequences of the bloody war in Spain with Bonaparte'. The set falls into three principal groups: scenes of the war that had begun in 1808; the famine in Madrid in 1811-12; and some allegorical subjects which were the last to be etched.
The final suppression of liberalism and constitutional government in Spain in 1823 prevented its publication and ultimately led to Goya's decision to leave Spain the following year and settle in Bordeaux. It was not until 1863, long after Goya's death, that the first set was published by the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Madrid, under the title Los Desastres de la Guerra ('The Disasters of War').
Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes
Goya was the most important Spanish artist of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
He spanned Rococo to Romanticism, and is today sometimes called the first 'modern' artist. The British Museum has a very large collection of Goya prints, with the complete published editions of four series.