Sabbath of Witches, Francisco de Goya – overview of the painting

Sabbath of Witches, Francisco de Goya – overview of the painting
Sabbath of Witches, Francisco de Goya - overview of the painting - 1

  • Posted by Francisco de Goya
  • Museum: Prado Museum
  • Year: 1819-1823

Overview of the painting :

Witch Sabbath – Francisco de Goya. Painting on the wall of the “High House”. 1819 – 1823. Oil on canvas. 140 x 438 cm

   “Witch Sabbath” is one of the images included in the series of “Buddy Pictures”. The canvas was written in the most difficult period of the artist’s life, when he began to lose his sound and suffer from the monstrous visions that haunted him in a dream and in reality. He transferred these incredible hallucinations to the walls of his own home. The “Witch’s Sabbath” was located along the wall of the room and drove all those entering the room into a stupor with its incredible surrealism and gloomy color.

   Only the genius Goya could cope with such a large-scale canvas. Disproportionate, frankly ugly figures with ugly faces in a multitude are collected in this picture. The composition is built on the basis of a collapse, which creates a feeling of continuous rotation of all this dark, disgusting mass. This is a reflection of the ideas of a broken, sick artist about the world around him. Political instability, fear for one’s own life, a serious illness gave rise to depression, which resulted in a series of paintings that amaze with their gloom and expression.

   Seeking to portray all human vices and satanic manifestations, Goya makes the appearance of witches distorted and disgusting. This is the embodiment of universal evil in human likeness, an artistic reflection of the artist, sick inner world.

   There was no hint of Goya’s early work in this canvas. There are no bright colors, no gentle pretty faces of his charming Spaniards. Only dark, dead colors, a complete lack of beauty and a tense, unnatural circulation of various guises of evil. And after many years, the “Witch Sabbath” is striking in its expression and dark, negative expressiveness.