The 2nd of May 1808 was completed in 1814, two months before its companion work The Third of May 1808. It depicts the uprising that precipitated the executions of the third of May.
The painter Francisco Goya wanted to commemorate the Spanish resistance to the Napoleonic invasion, and the appointment of Joseph Bonaparte (Napoleon´s brother) as the new ruler of Spain, who was contemptuously called "Pepe Bottles" because he supposedly liked wine.
The Third of May 1808 by Francisco Goya
"The Third of May in Madrid" is considered the first revolutionary painting in its concepts, style, theme, and intention, properly. It is a portrait of the Spanish uprising against France.
Goya´s “Y no hay remedio” (And it can't be helped) from The Disaster of War” c. 1810–1812, prefigures elements of The Third of May.
The King of Spain, Charles IV was considered ineffective and interested only in sport hunting, even unable to control his energetic wife Maria Luisa of Parma.
Goya's Manuel Godoy, Duke of Alcudia, Prince of the Peace, 1801. Godoy was Prime Minister of Spain during the 1808 Napoleon´s invasion of Spain.
Napoleon took advantage of the weakness of the Spanish king and saw the opportunity to share in Portugal by offering the Spanish Prime Minister, Manuel de Godoy, who was seduced by the Prince of Algarve to accept Napoleon´s seductive offer. The offer was that each one was left with a third of Portugal.
Joseph Bonaparte, King of Spain. Portrait by Fran François Gérard, 1808