Goya
Goya

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Goya

1 Background information

1.1 Introduction

An interesting analysis of Napoleon's involvement in Spain is provided by Stendhal in A Life of Napoleon, chapters 36 to 43. Stendhal argues that Napoleon's basic error was to see Spain as susceptible to the imposition by the French of the kind of enlightened reforms which had been welcomed elsewhere in Europe. Stendhal particularises, in a way characteristic of Romantic writers, on what he considers a highly distinctive Spanish national character, which in his view explains the hostile reaction to Napoleon's intervention. ‘Cowardly despotism’, ‘rogues’, ‘idiots’, ‘stupid’ ministers, a people not yet ready to enjoy liberty – these are among the forces Stendhal names as resistant to the (beneficial) government reforms Napoleon sought to introduce.

Figure 1
Figure 1 Francisco de Goya, Self-Portrait, Plate 1 of Los Caprichos print series, 1799, etching, 22 x 15.3 cm, private collection. Photo: Bridgeman Art Library.
A207_4

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has over 40 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus