de Sueca, Madrid, Spain
Private Collection

Image One, Inc.

His portraits of this period still reveal an insight into the enchantment of women and children which has been equalled by no other painter except perhaps Renoir. Two portraits of women painted at this time show this quality clearly—Dona Antonia Zarate, proud, upright, coquettish and slightly sad; La Condesa de Chinchón, the tenderest of all his portraits of women, where the childish face and the frail width of the shoulders are contrasted with the expansive and beautifully painted front of the dress in the foreground.

These pictures are like a last farewell to the joys of life, for soon afterwards Goya retired into the isolation of his Quinta del Sordo (House of the Deaf Man) in Madrid. Meanwhile, the Napoleonic Wars came and went. The frightful horrors suffered by the Spanish people filled Goya with such bitterness that he turned the full power of his art into an attack on the insane behaviour of his fellow creatures. He was disgusted by the political regime which he considered reactionary and brutal, and in his art he has attempted to describe the horrors of war and to portray forcefully the meaninglessness of unjust and uninvited human suffering.