Results 1-3of 3 Reviews
April 19, 2011
From journal Artful Madrid
Cinnaminson, New Jersey
May 4, 2003
The frescoes show the story of San Antonio (St. Anthony), who was a Franciscan friar in 13th-century Padova. He learned that his father was wrongfully accused of murder, so he went to Lisbon and asked the dead victim at the trial whether his father was guilty of his murder. In front of the amazed crowd, the corpse came back to life and declared the innocence of the accused, but could not tell who killed him. Goya created a circular scene where like in a theater the crowd from the balcony observes the miracle. Each figure is full of emotions and gestures. The most interesting is the group of majas that will later appear in Goya’s works -- this way Goya brought Madrid’s color into the painting. The vaults are covered with female angels (which is very unusual) both blonds and brunettes, and it is said that some of them are portraits of court ladies. On the apse vault, we can see a scene showing the Adoration of the Holy Trinity, which depicts angels on the golden background with golden rays in the center and is the most traditional interpretation of the subject in the whole chapel.
But even more interesting than the subjects depicted on the cupola is Goya’s manner of painting. He paints sketched figures and color defines their volume; he uses layers on top of layers of color, which makes figures almost three-dimensional and certain parts of the figure stand out from the ceiling. This chapel is considered by many the best and the most innovative of Goya’s works, and it truly is because in his paintings in this particular chapel, it seems he stepped 200 years into the future and shows us the beginning of the impressionism right here, in 1798.
From journal Travels to Spain - Madrid, Part II
This small church located somewhat out of the way near the rail station Estacion de Principe Pio, not in the center of Madrid, but rather in the area where working people live, is famous for being the burial place of Francisco de Goya and it has frescoes on its ceiling that Goya painted in only four months in 1798.
This church was built in 1792-98 by design of Felipe Fontana for Charles IV, and when Goya painted the frescoes, the church became the royal chapel. Now this is all that’s left of what was once a large estate of queen Isabel II. The rest was demolished to build the rail station.
Because of the regular services and candle smoke, the frescoes started to deteriorate and in 1928, a twin church was built, so now there are really two identical churches built next to each other on the small square -- one is open for visitors to look at Goya’s frescoes and the other is only for the services. The right one is the one that has Goya’s tomb and his paintings; it is open during the restoration effort. Part of the fresco on the ceiling has already been restored and there is a large board that explains the restoration process and various techniques used to preserved Goya’s work. Goya’s remains were brought here in 1919 from Bordeaux where he died in exile in 1828.
Continued in Part II