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

Description of the picture:

Sabbath of the Witches – Francisco de Goya. The painting on the wall of the “House of the Deaf.” One thousand eight hundred and nineteen – 1823. Oil on canvas. 100 40 x four hundred 30 eight cm

   The Witches’ Sabbath is one of the images in the Gloomy Pictures series. The canvas was painted in the most difficult period of the artist’s life, when he began to lose sound and suffer from terrible visions that haunted him in a dream and in reality. He transferred these indescribable hallucinations to the walls of his own house. The “Witches’ Sabbath” was placed along the wall of the room and drove into the stupor all those entering the room with its indescribable surrealism and dark color.

   Only the genius of Goya could cope with such a large-scale canvas. Disproportionate, frankly ugly figures with disgusting faces in large numbers are collected in this picture. The composition is built on the basis of an oval, which makes the sense of continuous rotation of all this black, vile mass. This is a reflection of the ideas of a broken, ailing artist about the outside world. Political inconsistency, horror for his life, languid disease gave rise to depression, the result of which was a series of paintings, striking with their own gloom of perception and expression of the image.

   In an effort to portray all human vices and satanic manifestations, Goya makes the appearance of witches distorted and vile. This is the embodiment of universal evil in human likeness, an artistic reflection of the artist’s ailing inner world.

   There is no hint of Goya’s premature work in this painting. There are neither the brightest colors, nor the tender, pretty faces of his pretty Spanish women. Only black, lifeless colors, a complete lack of beauty and a tense, unnatural circulation of various guises of evil. And after many years, the “Sabbath of the Witches” impresses with its own expression and black, negative expressiveness."