Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

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12 / Conflict and Resistance

Y no hai Remedio (And There’s Nothing to Be Done)
Y no hai Remedio (And There’s Nothing to Be Done)
Artist / Origin Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (Spanish, 1746–1828)
Region: Europe
Date 1810–23
Material Etching, drypoint, burin, and burnisher
Dimensions H: 5 11/16 (14.5 cm.), W: 5 ½ in. (16.5 cm.)
Location The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Credit Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Harris Brisbane Dick Fund.

expert perspective

Christine GiviskosAssociate Curator, Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum

Y no hai Remedio (And There’s Nothing to Be Done)

» Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (Spanish, 1746–1828)

expert perspective

Christine Giviskos Christine Giviskos Associate Curator, Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum

Goya created his print series The Disasters of War—he starting working on it around 1809, 1810 and worked on it for the next several years. And this was in direct response to the serious warfare taking place in Spain following the invasion of Napoleon’s troops in 1808, in the spring of 1808.

When Goya finished the series, by 1814, the war was over—French troops had been driven out of Spain, the monarchy had been restored. So Goya actually didn’t publish those prints during his lifetime. They were published much later, but he did print some proofs and we know that in his immediate circle that they had been seen and discussed.

Negative commentary on war was not always common. Goya made two paintings of the second of May 1808 and the third of May 1808. He made those paintings actually in 1814, but there were prints made relatively soon after that sort of reported the incidences of the uprising and then the execution that took place on those days. It was more a kind of the equivalent of photography today when there’s an embedded reporter taking pictures of battle. These prints are more the equivalent of that kind of imagery as opposed to Goya’s artistic, more artistic renderings of the subjects.

I think Goya did want people to stop and think and maybe question their own assumptions and beliefs, and those assumptions and beliefs of those around them. I think because he was an intellectual himself, because he was interested in the enlightenment, he was trying to find his way to participate in that enlightened, instructive kind of thinking.” 

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