Esto Es Peor is a print created by the Spanish artist Francisco de Goya around 1812-1813. The print depicts the aftermath of a massacre of Spanish civilians by French soldiers during the Peninsular War in 1808, captured in a raw and realistic style. The human figure in this print is based on the ancient Greek Belvedere Torso, adding to its historical allusions.
Part of The Disasters of War series, Esto Es Peor was intended as a visual protest against the violence of war and conflict. This collection contains 82 prints completed between 1810 and 1820 that were not published until after Goya’s death, suggesting he may have wanted his views on war to be brought to public attention only when it was safe to do so.
Today, Esto Es Peor (This is Worse) remains an important work from one of Spain’s most renowned artists for sparking conversations about wartime atrocities across different periods and cultures. Moreover, Goya’s use of contemporary themes alongside historic references paved new paths for future artistic activism and social critique in art forms such as prints and paintings alike.