Goya's Corral of the Plagued

Goya's Corral of the Plagued
Goya's Corral of the Plagued
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When Francisco de Goya painted this painting between 1798 and 1800, he was a successful artist, capable of portraying the most important figures of the day, beginning with the royal family of Carlos IV and finishing with all the aristocracy of his court and many of the cultural personalities of the time such as the enlightened politician Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos.

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Goya's Corral of the Plagued

However, parallel to that official career, he began to develop more personal works. Something that he had started almost as a therapy to recover from certain headaches that over the years would end up becoming his deafness. He somehow began to paint works that were "whimsical" before he made his famous series of prints with that title.

These were paintings in which he gave a more personal view of his time. They could be classified as genre painting, in which he tried to reflect the daily life of the society of his time, but he did not stop at applying a descriptive tone, but sometimes he chose to provide a caricatured and also sarcastic vision, and other times showed a certain disenchantment, despair and criticism.

In this line we have to understand this picture of the Corral de los apestados. A scene in which he shows us the terrible living conditions and misery with which certain patients were treated. Here we assume that it is from ainfectious disease for the title but we don't know exactly which one. The image has a lot of Dantesque. A place with an oppressive atmosphere that suffocates us, a space that is undoubtedly a living tomb for those people, whom no one thinks of caring for and curing. They have simply been confined in that kind of common cell, so that they die one by one, and it even seems that some of them have already died.

This issue of caring for the sick was de alt with on various occasionsGoyain his paintings. For example, a few years earlier he had painted the picture of theCorral de los Locos. In it he gives us a terrible vision of how the mentally ill were treated at the end of the 18th century, something that he himself reflects in his letters, he has seen with his own eyes during a visit to a hospital. In this way, Goya serves as a magnificent chronicler of the customs of his time. A time in which the ideals of the Enlightenment coexist, with which he identifies since he considers them to be progress, while other practices and ideas from the past, practically medieval, are the ones that really prevail in the thinking of many of the rulers and also of many of their ruled. In other words, paintings like this are also a sign of the author's pessimistic character.

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