Plate 26 from 'The Disasters of War' (Los Desastres de la Guerra): 'One can't look.' (No se puede mirar.)

Series/Portfolio: The Disasters of War

Artist: Goya (Francisco de Goya y Lucientes) (Spanish, Fuendetodos 1746–1828 Bordeaux)

Date: 1810–20, published 1863

Medium: Etching, burnished lavis, drypoint and burin

Dimensions: Plate: 5 11/16 × 8 1/4 in. (14.5 × 21 cm)
Sheet: 9 15/16 × 13 1/2 in. (25.2 × 34.3 cm)

Classification: Prints

Credit Line: Purchase, Rogers Fund and Jacob H. Schiff Bequest, 1922

Accession Number: 22.60.25(26)


After Napoleon's invasion of Spain in 1807 and 1808 brought about the abdication of the Spanish king, violent protests against the French erupted in Madrid. The uprising of May 2, 1808, marked the start of the armed Spanish resistance, which dragged on in guerrilla warfare until 1814. During the war, Goya documented his horror and outrage at the atrocities committed by soldiers and patriots in his series of 80 prints 'The Disasters of War'. Never before had a story of man's inhumanity been told so compellingly, every episode reported with compassion, honesty and respect for the victims. Not until 1863, thirty-five years after Goya's death, was the first of seven posthumous editions of the Disasters published by Spain's Royal Academy, which in 1862 purchased all eighty etched copperplates.