No se puede saber por qué. (There is no way of telling why); Fatales consequencias de la sangrienta guerra en España con Buonaparte. Y otros caprichos enfaticos [Disasters of War], plate 35.
Drawn and etched about 1810–14; whole series first published posthumously 1863
Francisco Goya y Lucientes (Spanish, 1746–1828)
Harris 155, II; Delteil 154
Platemark: 15.4 x 25.6 cm (6 1/16 x 10 1/16 in.) Sheet: 25.7 x 35 cm (10 1/8 x 13 3/4 in.)
Medium or Technique
Etching, sulfur tint (?), burnished lavis, drypoint, and burin; posthumous trial proof
Not On View
Brown ink, plate-tone(selective). No bevel.
Posthumous trial proof, with numbers; with additional drypoint, with burin; with title in graphite (H. II).
Mounted in an album of posthumous trial proofs, printed 1862; bound in brown marbled (?) calf with gold letters and decoration. On spine: “LOS/ DESASTRES/ DE/ LA GUERRA/ POR/ F. GOYA” and below, “MADRID/ 1810”. On front cover: Decorative cartouche with the letters: C A N C F O R W A R D. On back cover: Gold decoration of interwoven circles with Latin mottos (?), surrounded by “NON · MORTALE · QUOD · OPTO”. 42.5 x 34.5 x 5.5 cm.
The album sheets are red tipped. The album paper is cream wove.
Inside front cover is large bookplate of William Stirling, the sticker of Frances Hofer and various cataloguing notes in graphite that continue onto first flyleaf (the notes are by P. Hofer and E. A. Sayre and others).
Title page, printed vertically:
LOS DESASTRES DE LA GUERRA / COLECCION DE LAMINAS / INVENTADAS Y GRABADAS AL AGUAFUERTE. / POR / DON FRANCISCO GOYA. / MADRID / 1810
Tipped in on next two fly leaves are notes by William Stirling (1864) and Archibald Stirling (1925) on blue writing paper.
Engraved, u.l., 35; u.r. within pm. in graphite: 35; l.l., engraved, 2(masked or not inked); b.c. inside pm. in graphite: no se puede saber por que.
O (of JGO)
Charles Blanc; bought for 20 pounds from Colnaghi, April 1863 by William Stirling, Keir (later Stirling-Maxwell); Archibald Stirling; Mr. and Mrs. Philip Hofer, Cambridge, MA; purchased from R. M. Light, Boston, June 12, 1974 (original vote June 13, 1973).
Museum purchase with funds by exchange from the bequest of W. G. Russell Allen