Home » Blog » Spotlight On…San Antonio de La Florida, Madrid

Spotlight On…San Antonio de La Florida, Madrid

In 1792, King Carlos IV of Spain ordered the building of a royal chapel in central Madrid for Saint Anthony of de La Florida. He then commissioned his favorite painter, Goya, to paint the frescos within the chapter depicting the miracles of Saint Anthony of Padua.
It took Goya only four months to complete the frescos, despite suffering from vertigo on the high scaffolding (or perhaps became of it). The frescos have been lauded as groundbreaking for the time period in regards to their composition, execution and narrative- though Goya did take liberty with one miracle, moving it from Lisbon to Madrid.

Miracles of St. Anthony of PaduaIn 1828, Goya died at the age of 82 in Bordeaux, France, where he was living at the time. He was buried there in a small churchyard but at the end of the 19th century, Goya’s work saw a resurgence of fame and the Spanish government lobbied France for the painter’s bones. In 1919, Goya was returned home to Spain and interred at San Antonio de La Florida but with one very obvious missing piece of anatomy, his head. When his body was exhumed in France, it was discovered that someone had stolen Goya’s skull and to this day, it has never been recovered.
Though Goya was at odds with the Spanish royal family at the time of his death and had left Spain in the twilight of his years after a series of personal heartbreaks including the death of his wife, the loss of his hearing and the effects of a bloody war, the known lothario may take one comfort in being forcibly removed from Bordeaux: every June 13, young, unmarried women from around Spain make a pilgrimage to the chapel, filling its walls to pray to St. Anthony to find them a husband.
San Antonio de La Florida
Glorieta de San Antonio de la Florida, S/N, 28008 Madrid, Spain

View Larger Map

Scroll To Top