Germany 1891 – 1969
Durch Fliegerbomben zerstortes Haus (Tournai) [House destroyed by aircraft bombs - Tournai], plate 39 from Der Krieg
Description: plate 39 from the portfolio Der Krieg [War], a portfolio of 50 prints in 5 parts, plus 1 additional print
Place made: Berlin, Germany
Materials & Technique: prints, Intaglio etching, aquatint and drypoint, printed in black ink. Support: BSB-Maschinen-Butten
Manufacturer's Mark: BSB
Edition State: 2nd state
Edition: ed 58/70
Publisher: VERLAG KARL NIERENDORF
Place Published: Berlin
Date Published: 1924
Whereas Dix's War etchings are overwhelmingly of life and death on the battlefield, nearly all of Goya's The disasters of war are of civilians suffering atrocities or inflicting them on others. This is one of the few prints by Dix that show civilians, and it is apparently modelled on one of Goya's prints of a similar event called 'Estragos de la guerra [Ravages of war]'. In both prints there is a dead woman on her back with her head hanging down towards us and her legs apart, and behind her another dead women hanging down towards us on her front. In both cases there is a dead child in the foreground.
The difference is that Goya shows us the devastation of a domestic scene almost certainly created by rampaging foreign soldiers using their swords, while Dix shows us the impersonal destruction of bombs dropped by invading foreign aircraft.
See Goya's Estragos de la guerra at bridgeman.co.uk
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra