Thursday, 12 May 2011

Bite 109: Francisco de Goya - Festival at the Meadow of San Isadore, 1788

Festival at the Meadow of San Isadore, 1788, oil on canvas, 44 x 94 cm, Prado
Painted as a sketch for a tapestry which was never completed, Festival at the Meadow of San Isadore shows festival goers and pilgrims celebrating the the feast day of St. Isidore the Labourer, patron saint of Madrid. The festival is the most popular in the Spanish calender, still celebrated today on May 15th each year.

The background, one of the best examples of Goya's landscape painting, shows the panorama of the city of Madrid with several recognisable buildings. The foreground exemplifies his skill in character studies, presenting Spanish people from all walks of life, brought together in joyous celebration on a warm spring day. The crowds of people draw us into the composition as they celebrate their city and their country.