Goya would have been nearly 70 by the time he begun this series in 1815 and he continued to work on these etching prints until around 1823. Shortly after this he moved to Bordeaux in France and would never return to complete this series. Despite its incomplete status, there is much to appreciate from his work here and his techniques were relatively new with a combination of aquatint and etching, followed by drypoint and burin in order to tweak each artwork to his preferred finish.
It took many years before this series was finally published, eventually being released officially in 1864 at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando. At that point, it was over forty years ago that Goya last worked on these etched prints. His handwriting is on several of the pieces, with notes and dates, though these were not intended to be carried over to the final etchings, they have helped art historians to better place this series within the artist's overall ouevre.
Art has for many centuries clashed with ruling powers and typically aims to provide an alternative view to the norm. Many monarchies and more extreme governments have clamped down on the freedom of expression and art has been a major part of that. World War II Germany was particularly famous for restricting art which it felt was inappropriate for its population, even burning some of the finest art from this period. The likes of Wassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc were treated with disdain, despite their clear and obvious talents. Goya was subtle enough to avoid a complete breakdown in relations with the powers in charge of Spain at that time, but clearly disapproved of their behaviour.