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The series of etchings by Goya on the Spanish War of Independence were not disseminated at the time of their creation due to their critical content. In the first two sections (etchings 1 to 47 and 48 to 64), dedicated to portraying war and its consequences, Goya did not take sides with any of the contenders; he depicted brutality, poverty and hunger. Conversely, in the so-called Caprichos enfáticos [Emphatic Caprichos] (etchings 65 to 80), he criticized the political regime that resulted from the war harshly and bitterly.
In Caridad de una mujer [A Woman’s Charity], which belongs to the second section, a female figure whose head is concealed under a hood carries a plate which she offers to a group of beggars lying on the ground who are exhausted from hunger. On the right of the etching an obese priest observes the scene with indifference. The print reflects the famine suffered by the population during the Spanish War of Independence, particularly in 1811 and 1812. It depicts the upper classes’ lack of solidarity, especially the church.
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