Tristes Presentimientos de lo que ha de Acontecer (Sad Forebodings)


Francisco Goya (1746-1828), Tristes Presentimientos de lo que ha de Acontecer (Sad Forebodings of What is Going To Happen), etching, burin, drypoint, and burnisher, c. 1810. Plate 1 of the Disasters of War, First Edition (1863). Reference: Harris 121, Delteil 120. In very good condition, with wide margins (stains on bottom margin edge, slight stains on edges top and right but not near and not affecting image in any way), on heavy absorbent wove paper, the full sheet, 7 x 8 5/8, the sheet 9 1/8 x 12 15/16 inches, archival matting.

A fine clear early impression of this dramatic image, the frontispiece for the series. Goya apparently made this print without completely removing an earlier design, so the many shapes and images appearing through the shadowy surface do indeed suggest “forebodings.” It is clear that although the order of the plates of the Disaster were changed over the course of its evolution, this plate was always intended as the frontispiece, and of course its title, given by Goya, indicates this.

Made in the workshop of Laurenciano Potenciano for the Real Academia and completed in March 1863. There were 7 editions of the Disasters in all (6 after this, the First Edition), and of course most impressions extant are from the later editions.