Brawlin' Broads: Plate 9: No Quieren

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Francisco Goya, No Quieren, 1810
Brawlin' Broads
By BLAIR HUXMAN

Goya's series of 82 prints, The Disasters of War, expose the raw brutality of war. Personally, I find them more impactful than most anti-war art because of the lack of a political agenda from Goya. He created the plates to show the horrors of war, not to send a political message or glorify war. Early on in this series of plates that depict the Peninsular War between France and Spain, it is clear what side each soldier fights for. However, as the series progresses, this distinction becomes increasingly convoluted until it is impossible to identify a French civilian or soldier from a Spanish one. The plates do not glorify the violence because they do not dramatize the events and depict Spaniards as some kind of hero. He indiscriminately shows the atrocities committed by both sides. 

This particular plate shows a young women being attacked by a soldier. An elderly women lunges at the man from the side with a knife to prevent what will likely become a sexual assault. The lines are rough and stiff, but still convey fluidity and intensity within the scene. The viewer can feel the woman's anguish as she desperately attempts to push her attacker away. We can see the determination on the man's face as he forcibly grabs her. Goya chose to not use color in the series of plates. He believed it was unnecessary, and black and white was all he needed to show what he desired. Because Goya sketches the scene, it feels candid and unplanned. It is not staged with models. Instead, he viewed the event first hand and cared more about showing the brutality off the event instead of stylizing it and showing off his painting skills. He does not romanticize the event; he shows it unfiltered and without bias. Goya's series, The Disasters of War, boldly captures the chaos and terror of war from an onlooker's perspective.

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