This six-minute video celebrates The Meadow of San Isidro (La Pradera de San Isidro, 1788) by Francisco Goya, another precious little painting from the Prado collection that they have brought together in a show denominated Enclosed Beauty. From Fra Angelico to Fortuny (La belleza encerrada. De Fra Angelico a Fortuny). The commentary (with English subtitles) is by Enrique Quintana, Chief Coordinator of Paintings in the Prado Museum.
This painting, which portrays the Madrileños on a day out celebrating Madrid’s patron saint’s day on a hillside opposite the city, with Madrid in the background, has an interesting, if truncated, history. Commissioned by King Charles III as a design for a tapestry 7.5 meters long–the largest ever projected by the Royal Tapestry Factory–the project was annulled when Charles III died and Charles IV succeeded to the throne.
The painting is evocative of an outdoor celebration, a portrayal of Madrid’s elegantly-dressed citizens taking the sun, dancing, drinking wine, and strolling in smart horse-drawn carriages, things they still do exceedingly well. In an interesting aside the commentator informs us that te painting enjoys a perfect state of conservation. The canvas remains on its original stretcher bar, still held by the nails hammered in by Goya himself.