Francisco de Goya
Los Desastres de la Guerra

May 15 – September 13, 2008
at Peter Blum SoHo

Francisco de Goya

The New Yorker
June 30, 2008

Goya made the suite of etchings known as “The Disasters of War” between 1810 and 1820, as a cry of outrage against the atrocities of the Napoleonic Wars. The eighty prints on view date from 1906, and they retain their capacity to shock, not least through the scalding irony of their captions: in “Charity,” naked corpses and flung head first into a yawing mass grave. The images are crisp and velvety, balancing remorselessly clear-eyed reportage with a graphic mastery synthesizing history painting, political cartooning, caricatural genre scenes, and, seemingly, every depiction of Hell that war can conjure up.