Built between 1792 and 1798 by the Italian architect Francisco Fontana, this neoclassical church was financed by King Carlos IV, who also commissioned Goya to paint the vaults and the main dome: he took 120 days to complete his assignment, painting alone except for a little boy who stirred his pigments. This gave him absolute freedom to depict events of the 13th century (St. Anthony of Padua resurrecting a dead man) as if they had happened five centuries later with naturalistic
images never used before to paint religious scenes. Opposite the image of the frightening dead man on the main dome, Goya painted himself as a man covered with a black cloak. The frescoes' third-restoration phase ended in 2005, and visitors can now admire them in their full splendor. Goya, who died in Bordeaux in 1828, is buried here (without his head, since it was stolen in France), under an unadorned gravestone.
Glorieta de San Antonio de la Florida 5, Madrid, 28008, Spain
Jan 31, 2008
There are two chapels, and the one on the right is the one to see. Large, elaborate ceiling fresco by Goya is excellent, and the mirrors placed around the side make viewing it easier. And it's free!