From today's featured article
Witches' Sabbath (The Great He-Goat) is an oil mural by the Spanish artist Francisco Goya. Satan is depicted as a goat in moonlit silhouette who hulks over a coven of terrified witches; a young woman in black sits at far right, withdrawn from the others, perhaps in defiance. The mural is one of the fourteen Black Paintings Goya created on the plaster walls of his home, the Quinta del Sordo, around 1822. He was in his mid-70s, living alone and suffering mental and physical distress. As in some of his earlier works, Witches' Sabbath seems to explore themes of aging, death, violence and intimidation. It is generally seen by art historians as a satire on the credulity of the age and as a condemnation of superstitions, such as the witch trials of the Spanish Inquisition. Some fifty years after Goya's death, the murals were removed from the home by transferring them to canvas supports. Today the paintings are in the collection of the Museo del Prado in Madrid. (Full article...)
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On this day
- 1535 – Conquistador Francisco Pizarro founded Ciudad de los Reyes, present-day Lima, Peru, as the capital of the lands he conquered for the Spanish Crown.
- 1884 – Welsh physician William Price was arrested for attempting to cremate his deceased infant son; he was acquitted in the subsequent trial, which led to the legalisation of cremation in the United Kingdom.
- 1943 – World War II: As part of Operation Iskra, the Soviet Red Army eased the Siege of Leningrad, opening a narrow land corridor to the city.
- 1958 – African Canadian Willie O'Ree of the Boston Bruins played his first game in the National Hockey League, breaking the colour barrier in professional ice hockey.
- 1990 – In a sting operation conducted by the FBI, Marion Barry (pictured), the Mayor of Washington, D.C., was arrested for possession of crack cocaine.
Isabella Jagiellon (b. 1519) · Aleksandra Ekster (b. 1882) · Goose Tatum (d. 1967)