Witches' Sabbath [El Aquelarre] (1798)
Painting by Francisco Goya (Spanish, 1746-1828)
Witches' Sabbath shows the Devil in the form of a garlanded goat, surrounded by a coven of disfigured, young and aging, witches in a moonlit barren landscape. The goat possesses large horns and is crowned by a wreath of oak leaves. On the right, an old crone can be seen holding an extremely starved looking, but apparently still living, infant in her hands, while a younger witch to her right does the same with a healthier looking child, implying they will follow the same fate. The Devil seems to be acting as a sort of priest at an initiation ceremony for the children, although popular superstition at the time believed the Devil often fed on children and human fetuses. The dead body of an infant can be seen discarded to the left, whereas the legs of another can be seen held down with force to the ground by a presumably younger witch in the center foreground. More witches, young and old, can be seen in the background, as well as three dead infants, apparently manacled, hanging from the neck on a stake to the left in the distance.
Typical of the imagery of witchcraft, many of the symbols used are inverted. The goat extends his left rather than right hoof toward the child, while the quarter moon faces out of the canvas at the top left corner. In the middle high-ground, a number of bats can be seen flying overhead, their flocking motion echoing the curve of the crescent moon.
Printed with Dye/Pigment Reactive Ink On archival matte paper Shipped in heavy duty poster tube Heavy weight (230 gsm), thick base (9.5 mil), and an instant-dry coating that resists fingerprints and smudging.
- Printed with Dye/Pigment Reactive Ink
- On archival matte paper
- Shipped in heavy duty poster tube
- Heavy weight (230 gsm), thick base (9.5 mil), and an instant-dry coating that resists fingerprints and smudging.