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Art / Witches' Sabbath (1798)

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Witches' Sabbath (Spanish: El 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 it 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.

Not to be confused with the Francisco Goya painting Witches' Sabbath (The Great He-Goat).


Witch's Sabbath provides examples of:

  • Hollywood Satanism: Considering the era it was made in, it was deliberately made to be portrayed as that as Satanic, with various symbols associated with Christian artwork. The goat extends his left rather than right hoof towards 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.
  • Satan: As portrayed as a garlanded goat, acting as something of a priest to a coven of witches.

Alternative Title(s): Witchs Sabbath 1798


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