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Goya’s black paintings: Pilgrimage to St. Isidore’s well

Goya’s black paintings: Pilgrimage to St. Isidore’s well

Artist Francisco Goya
Title Pilgrimage to St. Isidore’s well
Year 1819-1823
Technique Mural (later converted to canvas)
Current location Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain
Francisco Goya - Black Paintings - St. Isidore's well

St. Isidore’s well

Pilgrimage to St. Isidore’s well is also known as The holy office. The holy office is another name for the inquisition, an institution that had been abolished in 1820, and re-instated in 1823. Goya had come under the scrutiny of the holy office several times. The painting may be a comment on either the abolishment of the holy office or its re-instatement.

On the right of the painting we can see a man in 17th century clothing, probably an inquisitor, surrounded by people that remind us of the witches and devil-worshippers of The witches’ sabbath. They lead a procession of pilgrims, many of them deformed or crippled, presumably to the curative water of St. Isidore’s well.

Pilgrimage to St. Isidore’s well is on display in the Museo del Prado in Madrid.

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