Goya's Madrid

Miguel Flores Vianna

Spain’s capital seen through the eyes of its greatest painter.

The fight in the Puerta del Sol, as Goya pictured it, recalls recent news footage from Hong Kong, Cairo, and Ferguson, Missouri. On one side are Madrid’s civilians in their street suits and work clothes; on the other, the Mamluks in their exotic turbans and loose pants, clutching scimitars. History tells us that the event sparked Spain’s War of Independence against Napoleon. But Goya’s paint...