San Antonio de la Florida

The hermitage of San Antonio de la Forida , built during the kingship of Carlos IV, Forida was designed by the architect F. Fontana. Goya painted the cupola and the pendentives between June and December 1798.

The painting is of the miracle in which St. Anthony resurrects a dead man in order to question him and prove the innocence of his father, falsely accused of the man's murder.The scene occupies the entire cupola which is 6 m in diameter. A second composition is made up of a group of angels which cover the pendentives, walls and the half-cupola of the high altar, on which is represented the symbol of the Holy Trinity.

The principal scene is composed of witnesses of the miracle, who form a ring around the base of the cupola, standing on a balcony and dressed like common people of the street. The religious scene is thus converted into something as everyday as the faithful who attended mass there. The central point of the painting is the resurrected man and St. Anthony. All the activity takes place against a wide background made up of blue skies, clouds and trees. Children playing, women talking to each other and people gesticulating mingle together in an air of awe and devotion.

The painting is a fresco on distemper and the colours used by Goya are known from a bill from the merchant who sold him the paints. The colours used include pale ochre, dark ochre, burnt sienna, English blue, etc.

The spatial conception is inherited from Tiepolo. The free, long and vigorous brushwork is used to create atmosphere. Thus an effect of modernity is achieved that would be taken as a starting point for Goyaesque impressionism.


VIÑAZA, Conde de la. Goya, su tiempo, su vida, sus obras. Madrid 1887.

LAFUENTE FERRARI, E. Goya : Les fresques de San Antonio de la Florida. Lausana, 1955.

GASSIER, P- WILSON, J. Vida y obra de Goya. Barcelona, 1974

MORALES Y MARIN, J.L. Goya : Catálogo de Pintura. Zaragoza, 1994.

Marisa Cancela

Miracle of Saint Anthony of Padua
Miracle of Saint Anthony of Padua (Detail)
Adoration of the Trinity (Sketch for the apse ceiling)
Adoration of the Trinity (Detail)
Angels and cherubs holding curtains (Detail of the cupola)
Miracle of Saint Anthony of Padua (sketch for the central part of cupola)

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