A Scene from 'El Hechizado por Fuerza' ('The Forcibly Bewitched')

Image credit: The National Gallery, London

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Goya shows us a scene based on a satirical play first performed in 1698: The Forcibly Bewitched. The priest, Don Camillo, is being frightened into marriage with Doña Leonora. He’s been made to believe that a slave, Lucia, has bewitched him, and that his life will last only as long as the lamp in her room remains alight.

We see Camillo eagerly replenishing the oil in the lamp, which is in the form of an almost life-size ram. The inscription in the bottom right contains the first part of two words, lampara descomunal (‘monstrous lamp’) – the words that the fearful and superstitious Camillo cries out loud.

A grotesque painting of dancing donkeys decorates the wall behind, adding to the general air of mystery and sorcery. But the play is a comedy, and the hero’s exaggerated pose and staring eyes are intended to make us laugh at his gullibility.

The National Gallery, London



A Scene from 'El Hechizado por Fuerza' ('The Forcibly Bewitched')




Oil on canvas


H 42.5 x W 30.8 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Bought, 1896

Work type



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