Painter of the Week: Francisco de Goya. Today: The Sabbath of witches. 1797-98. Medium oil on canvas. 43 × 30 cm (16.9 × 11.8 in). Museo Lázaro Galdiano (Madrid)
Witches’ Sabbath (Spanish: Aquelarre) is a 1798 oil on canvas by the Spanish artist Francisco Goya. Today it is held in the Museo Lázaro Galdiano, Madrid.
It was purchased in 1798 along with five other paintings related to witchcraft by the Duke and Duchess of Osuna. The acquisition of the witchcraft paintings is attributed to the duchess rather than her husband, but is not known whether they were commissioned or bought after completion. In the twentieth century the painting was purchased by the financier José Lázaro Galdiano and donated to the Spanish state on his death.
Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (30 March 1746 – 16 April 1828) was a Spanish romantic painter and printmaker regarded both as the last of the Old Masters and the first of the moderns. Goya was court painter to the Spanish Crown; throughout the Peninsular War he remained in Madrid, where he painted the portrait of Joseph Bonaparte, pretender to the Spanish throne, and documented the war in the masterpiece of studied ambiguity known as the Desastres de la Guerra. Through his works he was both a commentator on and chronicler of his era. The subversive imaginative element in his art, as well as his bold handling of paint, provided a model for the work of artists of later generations, notably Manet, Picasso and Francis Bacon.