The scenes of The Disasters of War are presented in a dynamic fashion. Moreover, there is a certain narrative thread which brings the story together and flows through the entire series, which Goya reveals progressively. The advancing war is placed before our eyes through a highly credible sequence of events. First, fighting and mayhem, accompanied by the loss of moral values to rule human conduct; later, misery, illness, and famine. Finally, the “return to order” and the domination of death.
Goya etched a series of abandoned corpses in the middle of an open field. The disjointed postures of the bodies and the inanimate facial expressions contribute to an increasing sense of horror. Above them, a living character is spewing blood, indicating that he will soon join that mountain of lifeless beings. The scene unfolds at a barren and inhospitable location, with no trace of vegetation or sites that might serve as shelter for human beings.