Witches in the Air (1797 – 1798) by Francisco Goya

Witches in the Air - Francisco Goya - 1797 - 1798

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Artwork Information

TitleWitches in the Air
ArtistFrancisco Goya
Date1797 - 1798
Dimensions43.5 x 31.5 cm
Art MovementRomanticism
Current LocationMuseo del Prado, Madrid, Spain

About Witches in the Air

“Witches in the Air,” crafted by the esteemed artist Francisco Goya, is a work from the Romanticism movement, completed between the years 1797 and 1798. This mythological painting, wrought in oil on canvas, measures 43.5 by 31.5 centimeters and has its home in the Museo del Prado in Madrid, Spain.

The artwork presents a haunting nocturnal scene suffused with darkness and the supernatural. At the center of the composition, three disrobed figures appear to be swept up into the air, their bodies contorted unnaturally as if caught in an invisible, tumultuous wind. These airborne entities, presumed to be witches, exude a sense of nefarious movement, enhancing the sense of the ominous within the work. Below them, a solitary, cloaked figure stands in the foreground, seemingly recoiling in horror with arms shielding his face. This reaction intensifies the eerie, malevolent aura of the central figures.

In the background lies another figure seemingly prostrate on the ground, adding to the foreboding atmosphere, as if subdued or perhaps another victim to the sinister forces at play. A dark, ambiguous form—possibly an animal with glowing eyes—can be spied to the right, further contributing to the mystifying and sinister tone. Through this work, Goya encapsulates the essence of Romanticism, emphasizing the emotional, the mysterious, and the dramatic psychological depths of human fears of the unknown.

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