Goya’s “Third Of May 1808”

by Daniel Russ on August 17, 2011

Goya's "Third Of May 1808"

In 1804 Napolean Bonaparte declared himself Emperor of France, and immediately began a succession of massive wars and invasions and occupations that set a fire from Western Europe to Egypt. France needed easier access to the Mediterranean and Napolean felt Spain was an important country from which operate a fleet. Spain was ruled by a weak and incompetent king Charles IV; and his prime Minister Godoy was easily seduced into joining French forces in a concocted war on Portugal.

23,000 troops from the La Grande Armee entered the country and an oppressive occupation began. Guess what followed? You bet – an insurgency. The painting depicts one of the brutal punishments imposed upon Spanish citizens to quell the uprising. The painting is considered one of the first paintings of the modern era and a breakthrough stylistically.

Source: Wiki


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Louis September 5, 2017 at 9:15 am

The word Guerilla was coined then. As it was the Little War instead of the Grand War of formal campaigns and battles, and it wore down the french army. Napoleon called it his Spanish Ulcer.

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