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The genius of Goya in Rome: he depicted the brutality of war to reclaim peace

2012-10-27

SERGI RODRÍGUEZ
Director of Instituto Cervantes Rome
"It’s very innovative because instead of depicting the war from a perspective of the traditional images of the victorious general on horseback, where everything looks good, he did it from a different vantage point: that war is not just about medallions and victories, but instead much more about suffering and human drama.”

On until November 10th, the exhibition entitled "The Disasters of War" features 83 etchings of Goya which can be viewed at the Cervantes Institute in Rome, located in Piazza Navona. The small works are a clear example of how Goya anticipated what contemporary war reporters would be do in the future.

SERGI RODRÍGUEZ
Director of Instituto Cervantes Rome
"It reflects the harshness of war, looking at the reality of it and without idealizing it. He also does so with new formats, by drawing and making prints that are very similar in size to the modern day war photographs taken by  photojournalists.”

Ironically while constantly witnessing the violence of war he was also working on behalf of  General Palafo. Goya's goal was always to promote peace through his all too realistic drawings.

SERGI RODRÍGUEZ
Director of Instituto Cervantes Rome
"In his case he was really trying to spread a culture of peace, and that when war is used as a means of solving conflicts, it is always a tragedy, even for those who win.”

Goya showed the cruelty of executions, the  disasters caused by the fighting. He also highlighted the important and often overlooked role that women played in war.

The exhibition is quite direct and raw. But at the same time organizers say from this reality comes a very powerful message that makes people think about the true reality of war.


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