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Madrid San Antonio de la Florida


The Ermita de San Antonio de la Florida, is a chapel which houses some magnificent frescos painted by Goya, at Glorieta de San Antonio de la Florida, 5. The chapel, a solemn-looking building from the outside, is full of life and colour in the inside, with its grand pictorial decoration painted by Francisco de Goya at the end of the 18th century. While completing this masterpiece of Spanish art, the Aragonese painter was aware that he was decorating one of Madrid´s most popular churches, famous for its procession on the 13th of June.

There are actually two chapels in the site. The original Ermita de San Antonio de la Florida was built in 1795 by the Duchess of Alba. She had the great Spanish painter Goya paint the frescoes in the interior. The second was built in 1929, to allow to continue to use the church without damaging the original paintings.
When painting his frescos, Goya used a technique which consisted in painting with colours that had been diluted in water on plaster that was still damp. He would sketch out the figures on paper before painting them on the walls, though his creative urges led him to make several changes as he was working, anticipating artistic styles that were to follow, such as expressionism and impressionism.

Goya himself is buried within the Ermita. Though he died in Bordeaux in 1828, his remains were brought back to Spain in 1919 and laid to rest in the chapel. Installed at the foot of the presbytery, Goya’s tomb is made of granite and marked with the tombstone that had adorned his grave in Bordeaux. As he had been buried in France alongside a relative by marriage, Martín Miguel de Goicoechea, both were brought to Madrid and laid to rest alongside each other in order to avoid errors of identification.

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