Francisco de Goya

Witches’ Sabbath (El aquelarre)

Clasificación
Witches’ Sabbath (El aquelarre)
Datos Generales
Cronología
Ca. 1820 - 1823
Ubicación
The Prado National Museum. Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Dimensiones
140.5 x 435.7 cm
Técnica y soporte
Oil painting on plaster transferred to canvas
Reconocimiento de la autoría de Goya
Undisputed work
Titular
El Prado National Museum
Ficha: realización/revisión
27 Oct 2010 / 31 Jul 2017
Inventario
406 (P00761)
Historia

See Leocadia.

Análisis artístico

This painting was located on the long wall of the left-hand side of the lower floor of the house known as the Quinta del Sordo, opposite The Pilgrimage to San Isidro.

The painting shows a witches' gathering in the presence of a devil in the form of a male goat, an idea that Goya had already explored in works produced for the Alameda Palace of the Duke and Duchess of Osuna, as well as in prints from the series Caprices (Caprichos) and Follies (Disparates).

The demon presides over the ceremony accompanied by a kind of assistant on his right. On the far right there is a girl awaiting her initiation. The attendants at this hellish gathering form a great mass of figures characterized by deformed gestures and distorted facial expressions conveying the horror and animal instincts that the male goat figure is transmitting to the crowd.

Nordström has attempted to give a symbolic meaning to the painting, linking it with Saturn as the god of melancholy. This relationship is justified by the use of the image of a male goat, the symbol for Capricorn ruled by the planet Saturn.

The composition is focused on the centre of the painting where the crowd of figures is situated, although the work suffered some changes following its removal from the wall. Photographs taken before the paintings were transferred to canvas show that the restorer removed almost a metre and a half of the painting. In the original format the girl sitting down would have been almost in the centre of the composition, and not on the far side of the painting where she sits today.

Black is the predominant colour in the painting, along with some touches of flesh tones, ochres, greens, and dirty greys used for the clothing. The artist used violent brushstrokes and rapid marks in accordance with the expressionist style of the scene.

Conservación

Apart from the restoration work carried out by Martínez Cubells in 1973, further restoration work was also carried out in 1954 by Pablo y Alarcón for the Prado Museum.

Exposiciones
  • Pinturas Negras en la Exposición Universal de París
    Palacio del Trocadero
    Paris
    1878
    from may 20th to November 10th 1878
  • Goya. 250 Aniversario
    Museo Nacional del Prado
    Madrid
    1996
    consultant editor Juan J. Luna. From March 29th to June 2nd 1996
Bibliografía
  • Goya, sa vie, son œuvre
    Charles Yriarte
    pp. 140
    1867
    Henri Plon
  • Goya. Composiciones y figuras, t.II
    Aureliano de Beruete Y Moret
    pp.122-127
    t. II
    1917
    edición compendiada por Francisco Javier Sánchez Cantón: Madrid, Blass, 1928
  • Goya. Las Pinturas Negras
    Antonio F. Fuster
    pp. 127-128
    1963
    Goya Hispano-Inglesa de Reaseguros, D.L.
  • Vie et ouvre de Francisco de Goya
    Juliet Wilson and Pierre Gassier
    p. 328, cat. 1623
    1970
    Office du livre
  • Goya, 1746 – 1828. Biografía, estudio analítico y catálogo de sus pinturas, 4 vols.
    José Gudiol
    vol. I, p. 378, cat. 700
    1970
    Polígrafa
  • Goya
    Xavier Salas
    p. 201, cat. 584
    1974
    Carroggio S.A. de Ediciones
  • Goya's Black Paintings: Truth and Reason in Light and Liberty
    Priscilla E. Muller
    pp. 155-167
    1984
    Hispanic Society of America
  • Goya, Saturno y melancolía. Consideraciones sobre el arte de Goya
    Folke Nordström
    p.254-255
    1989
    La Balsa de la Medusa (Edición original: Estocolmo, Almqvis & Wiksell, 1962)
  • Las pinturas negras
    José Manuel Arnáiz
    pp. 94-95
    1996
    Ediciones Antiquaria, S.A
  • Goya. Pinturas del Museo del Prado
    Margarita Moreno De Las Heras
    pp. 308
    1997
    Museo Nacional del Prado
  • Las Pinturas Negras de Goya
    Paulina Junquera
    pp. 66-67
    2003
    Scala Publishers Ltd.
Enlaces externos
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