advertisement

Goya’s tomb reposes in this little hermitage on the banks of the Río Manzanares north of the Palacio Real. The church also contains Goya’s elaborately beautiful fresco depicting the miracles of St. Anthony on the dome and cupola. Perhaps because he had to paint on scaffolding, the paintings are sometimes called Goya’s Sistine Chapel. He worked in the labor-intensive fresco technique of applying fresh plaster to the surface, incising his design based on a “cartoon” drawing, and then applying pigment with a sponge instead of a brush. Many early viewers were shocked that Goya painted prostitutes, beggars, and hardworking common folk. But the patron, Carlos IV, approved and the work has stood the test of time. The tomb and frescoes are on the right as you enter. Magnifying mirrors on the floor help you see the ceiling without straining your neck.