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Episode 622             Episode 624
Episode 623

Witches' Sabbath (The Great He-Goat)
Fri, 2019-Jan-18 00:05 UTC
Length - 2:57

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Welcome to featured Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of the featured Wikipedia article every day.

The featured article for Friday, 18 January 2019 is Witches' Sabbath (The Great He-Goat).

Witches' Sabbath or The Great He-Goat (Spanish: Aquelarre or El gran cabrón) are names given to an oil mural by the Spanish artist Francisco Goya, completed sometime between 1821 and 1823. It explores themes of violence, intimidation, aging and death. Satan hulks, in the form of a goat, in moonlit silhouette over a coven of terrified witches. Goya was then around 75 years old, living alone and suffering from acute mental and physical distress.

It is one of the fourteen Black Paintings that Goya applied in oil on the plaster walls of his house, the Quinta del Sordo. The paintings were completed in secret: he did not title any of the works or leave a record of his intentions in creating them. Absent of fact, Witches' Sabbath is generally seen by some art historians as a satire on the credulity of the age, a condemnation of superstition and the witch trials of the Spanish Inquisition. As with the other works in the group, Witches' Sabbath reflects its painter's disillusionment and can be linked thematically to his earlier etching The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters as well as the Disasters of War print series, another bold political statement published only posthumously.

Around 1874, some fifty years after his death, the plaster murals were taken down and transferred to canvas supports. Witches' Sabbath was much wider before transfer – it was the broadest of the Black Paintings. During the transfer about 140 cm (55 in) of the painting was cut from the right-hand side. At its reduced dimensions of 141 × 436 cm (56 × 172 in), its framing is unusually tightly cropped, which some critics find adds to its haunted, spectral aura, although others believe it distorts Goya's intentions by moving the centre of balance and reducing the painting's impact.

This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 00:05 UTC on Friday, 18 January 2019.

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This has been Geraint. Thank you for listening to featured Wiki of the Day.


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