- Museum number
Object: Agustina de Aragón (Agustina of Aragon)
Series: Ruinas de Zaragoza (Ruins of Saragossa)
Agustina of Aragon: she stands on a fallen soldier lighting a canon to repel the Napoleonic troops at right
Etching and aquatint
- Production date
Height: 355 millimetres
Width: 235 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- On 4 July 1808 the French soldiers stormed the Portillo, a gateway to the city of Saragossa that was defended by cannons and mainly volunteer Spaniards. The 22 year old Agustina of Aragon, who was part of the resistance against the French, arrived at the gate carrying food to feed those defending the gate. She saw her comrades being slaughtered by the French, whereupon she clambered on their corpses, loaded a cannon, lit the fuse and blasted the invaders at close range. In this print Agustina is shown lighting the fuse, her basket of food is at the left and canon balls are on the ground around her dead comrade. The description running at the bottom of the print relates her deeds. Her comrades who had fled the gate were inspired by her actions and returned to once again fight the enemy who shortly after gave up the assault. Agustina was decorated for her bravery as described below the print. Agustina has come to embody the bravery of the ordinary Spaniards who were critical in resisting invasion and defeating Napoleon's army. She is best known through Goya's print from his Disasters of War series (1810-12) entitled Que valor! (what bravery) that shows her lonely figure standing on a pile of corpses, turned from the viewer and lighting the fuse (1975,1025.203). She is the only identifiable figure in Goya's series.
The smaller prints from the series celebrate the actions of individuals emphasising the fact that the resistance was fuelled by their bravery and sacrifice. The individuals depicted include a countess who many times risked her life getting provisions to her comrades, a carpenter who with only a small knife unarmed a French soldier, and 'Uncle Jorge' an honorable worker who died from fatigue.
A preparatory drawing by Juan Gálvez for the print survives in a private collection in Madrid (B. Navarrete Prieto, El papel del dibujo en España. Madrid, 2006, no.71). Gálvez also made a painting of the subject that is in the Museo Lázaro Galdiano, Madrid (J.L. Díez, 'La pintura española del siglo XIX en el Museo Lázaro Galdiano', Madrid, 2005, pp.120-21).
For discussion of the series see 1899,0713.164.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2012/13 Sept-Jan, London, BM, `Renaissance to Goya`
2013, Aug-Nov, Sydney, AGNSW, 'Renaissance to Goya'
2013-4, Dec-Mar, Santa Fe, New Mexico Museum of Modern Art, 'Renaissance to Goya'
- Associated events
- Associated Event: Peninsular War 1808-1814
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number