THE GOYA HIDDEN FRESCOES AT THE HERMITAGE OF SAN ANTONIO DE LA FLORIDA
A place often unknown to the inhabitants of Madrid themselves, the Hermitage of San Antonio de la Florida is a rather austere-looking building which hosts a spectacular cycle of frescoes painted by Goya at the end of the 18th century.
The small church, work of the architect Francisco de Fontana, was finished in 1798. In the same year, Goya, the artist of the Royal Court, received the commission of the frescoes by King Charles IV which guaranteed the artist total freedom.
The history of San Antonio
Goya chooses to represent a secondary episode in the life of the Saint, the one in which Antony, miraculously transported to Lisbon, resurrects a murdered dead and exonerates his father, unjustly accused of the crime. The story is set in the painter’s contemporary Madrid, in particular among the simple, popular and poor area around the Manzanares River. Thus, alongside the elegant representatives of Madrid aristocracy, the frescoes are crowded by commoners and beggars, curious children
and young women, perhaps the very characters who populated the lively neighborhood life and whom Goya could meet daily, while completing his enterprise.
It is perhaps also for this daily contact between the great artist and the devout people that the frescoes of San Antonio de la Florida are charged with a sense of joyful immediacy: the figures are fresh and lively, drawn with rapid brushstrokes, often barely sketched and flaked off in an intense and dazzling brightness. Adding to the wonder of this work, is the fact that you will most likely not find the throng of tourists who populate the other museums in Madrid. Goya’s frescoes are certainly worth an excursion outside the usual tourist circuits, if only to pay homage to the great artist who created it and who found his final burial here in 1919.
For more information click HERE
Glorieta San Antonio de la Florida 5, Casa de Campo / Moncloa-Aravaca District
Tuesday – Sunday from 9.30 to 20 (last admission 20 minutes before)
Monday: closed (however, it is advisable to check the times as they may vary).
How to get there:
Metro: Principe Pio (lines 5, 10 and section Opera – Principe Pio)
Bus: 41, 46 and 75
Extra-urban Railway Service (Renfe): Príncipe Pío
Free guided tours (in Spanish and English, upon registration) generally follow the following times:
– Saturday at 13:00
– Special St. Anthony’s Day: 12 June, at 12:00 and 18:00; 13 June: short visits with continuous hours throughout the day
In any case, to be sure of timetales and visits, we recommend that you consult the program by clicking directly HERE
Other activities at San Antonio de la Florida: workshops for adults and children
The municipality of Madrid organizes interesting engraving workshops for adults, dramatized visits for children and walks along the Manzanares River at the Hermitage of San Antonio de la Florida. Always free, but with 48 hours notice, the Hermitage of San Antonio de la Florida organizes guided tours for groups of 10 to 25 people. All activities are free and are aimed at making the public aware of Goya’s work and the technique of this artist, the undisputed genius of universal art.
The schedule of activities can be checked HERE