The events of the Madrid revolt against French occupying force on the preceding day are commemorated by the Third of Mai 1808. The picture is in fact the right-hand half of a diptych: the had left-hand half consists of The Second of May, 1808 (The Charge of the Mamelukes) 😉 The work was begun in 1814, following a successful appeal by Goya for funds in order to complete the project 😊 This painting was a groundbreaking piece and remains the strongest example of contemporary art in Spain from the 19th century. This avant-garde work would have seemed almost impossible for anyone who had seen it, simply because it rejects all of the existing art. Usual conventions of Baroque and Neoclassical history painting. The painting does not depict heroes, but only victims. There is also no admirable feat of bravery, just bloody executions. And there is no honorable cause to be honoured, except revolt and suppression. 
Francisco de Goya’s The Third of May 1808—sometimes described as the greatest anti-war painting, the first modern work of art, and the artist’s unquestioned masterpiece—spent most of its first 40 years in storage. In 1814, the provisional Spanish government ordered it. It was quickly received by Madrid’s Prado Museum. It wasn’t until 1872 that the museum bothered to list the painting in its catalogue. The horrors Goya depicted at that point were nearly beyond our current memory. These horrors were just as new for Spain in 1814 as they are today. We thank Lateya Ludwig, who highlighted this. 
Friends at all-art.org Described the 1808 Rising of the Spanish People against Godoy’s despotic regime. 1808 Goya goes to Saragossa, Italy to draw ruins. 1808-1809 Napoleonic troops occupy Madrid and take Saragossa.1810 Begins to record the horrors of war in his etchings.1811 Joseph Bonaparte awards him the Royal Order of Spain.1812 Goya’s wife Josefa dies. Portrait of Wellington.1813 Leocadia Wiss becomes Goya’s companion.1814 On the Third of May, 1808.Goya is required to defend his actions under French occupation. Portrait of Ferdinand VII.1814 Napoleon abdicates. He is exiled in Elba. Congress of Vienna. Ferdinand VII, King of Spain.1815 A new series of etchings depicting bullfighting (La Tauromaquia) is started.1817 Joumey moves to Andalusia.1818 C.D., the German romantic painter. Friedrich paints Voyager Above the Sea of Clouds. Althea Cottell amended the text April 15, 2021.