Ferrol - Urban History
Foundation
The family of Carlos IV, by Francisco de Goya (1800)

On the death of Carlos III, the crowning of his son Carlos IV (1788-1808) coincided with the outbreak of the French Revolution. Panic over 'revolutionary contamination' led to a regressive home policy. Spain's erratic foreign policy led it to declare war on France (1793-5), then sign peace treaties with France to join in fighting against Britain. Defeat after defeat led to the final debacle of Trafalgar, with the loss of the fleet and then the colonial empire. Goya offered a lucid portrait of the sovereign (in the centre) who would abdicate in 1808 in favour of his son Fernando (third from the left). Meanwhile, Napoleon's troops were invading the country.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid
Close