Francisco de Goya

A Procession of Flagellants (Procesión de disciplinantes)

A Procession of Flagellants (Procesión de disciplinantes)
Datos Generales
Ca. 1814 - 1816
Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando. Madrid, Madrid, Spain
46 x 73 cm
Técnica y soporte
Oil on wood panel
Reconocimiento de la autoría de Goya
Documented work
Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando
Ficha: realización/revisión
27 Apr 2010 / 13 Mar 2023

See The Madhouse.


Análisis artístico

For a history of the whole series, see The Madhouse.

As in the case of the event represented in the painting The Bullfight,  processions of flagellants were also banned in Spain following the return of Ferdinand VII in 1815. In spite of this, religious fanaticism and fervour amongst the population continued, as did the penitent tradition. Goya saw these processions as another manifestation of the irrationality of the people, and he represents the scene with all the rawness and realism which he knew just how to capture.

The procession which Goya depicts here seems to be taking place in a large city, as indicated by the presence of the bailiff in his white wig who tries to maintain order. As viewers we are placed in the position of spectators in the public, and we have a perfect view of the flagellants who, bare-chested and barefoot, their heads covered with white hoods, lash themselves until blood springs forth, staining their white clothing. These figures are interspersed with others dressed in black from head to toe with black conical caps or corozas who play the trumpet while others castigate themselves by carrying heavy blocks of wood on their shoulders. The religious figures carried in the procession appear on the left-hand side, led by the Virgin of Solitude, and followed by a Christ on the road to Calvary and a crucifixion. The poses of the veiled women who kneel before the Virgin express devotion, and all those present are humbled by the sight of the penitents and their pain except for one person, who, like the woman who meets the viewer's gaze in The Bullfight, looks at us from the crowd, raising her head above the white caps with an eloquent expression of horror.

  • Goya 1900
    Ministerio de Instrucción Pública and Bellas Artes
    consultant editors Aureliano de Beruete, Alejandro Ferrant, Marqués de Pidal and Ricardo Velázquez. May 1900
  • Goya. El Capricho y la Invención. Cuadros de gabinete, bocetos y miniaturas
    Museo Nacional del Prado
    from November 18th 1993 to February 15th 1994. Exhibited also at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, March 18th to June 12th 1994 and The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, July 16th to October 16th 1994, consultant editors Manuela B. Mena Marqués and Juliet Wilson-Bareau
  • Goya: Prophet der Moderne
    Alte Nationalgalerie
    from July 13th to October 3th 2005. Exhibitied also at the Kunsthistorischemuseum, Vienna, October 18th 2005 to January 8th 2006, consultant editor Manuela B. Mena Marqués
  • Goya en tiempos de guerra
    Museo Nacional del Prado
    consultant editor Manuela B. Mena Marqués, from April 14th to July 13th 2008
  • Goya
    L'œuvre peint de Goya. 4 vols
    vol. I, p. 243, cat. 214
  • pp. 256, 266, cat. 967
  • GASSIER, Pierre y WILSON, Juliet
    Vie et ouvre de Francisco de Goya
    ParísOffice du livre
    vol. I, p. 319, cat. 463
  • ANGELIS, Rita de
    L’opera pittorica completa di Goya
    p. 127, cat. 556
    Francisco de Goya, 4 vols.
    ZaragozaCaja de Ahorros de Zaragoza, Aragón y Rioja
    vol. III, p. 177 y vol. IV, p. 105 (il.)
  • MENA, Manuela B. y WILSON-BAREAU, Juliet (comisarias)
    Goya. El capricho y la invención. Cuadros de gabinete, bocetos y miniaturas
    MadridMuseo del Prado
    pp. 314-320, 378-379, cat. 96 y p. 317 (
  • MENA MARQUÉS, Manuela B.
    Goya en tiempos de guerra
    MadridMuseo Nacional del Prado
    pp. 379-380, 384-386, cat. 129 y p. 385
Enlaces externos
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