ART

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - SEVEN DAYS -

Fran­cisco Goya: The Dis­as­ters of War Ch­ester Beatty Li­brary, Dublin. Un­til Jan 21 cbl.ie If you were ever in­clined to doubt that war is a re­ally ter­ri­ble idea, a glance through Goya’s stun­ning se­ries of etch­ings should set you to rights. Made over the course of a decade (1810-1820), they cen­tre on the bit­terly fought Penin­su­lar War (1807-1814) and its af­ter­math. Many have the qual­ity of first­hand re­portage, and it is thought that Goya did in­deed wit­ness some of the hor­rors he records in images of graphic bril­liance. He was a re­mark­ably com­posed though in­creas­ingly hor­ri­fied ob­server, and his grow­ing dis­may at man’s ca­pac­ity for vi­cious­ness and cru­elty comes vividly across. Col­lec­tively the work amounts to a sear­ing, de­spair­ing vi­sion of the col­lapse of civilised val­ues in ex­tremis. Dis­turb­ing but es­sen­tial view­ing. AD

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