Friday, September 30, 2011

Religious Fanatic

The Expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492 (1889) by the Spanish painter Emilio Sala y Francés (1850-1910)

Several months after the fall of Granada an Edict of Expulsion was issued against the Jews of Spain by the so called Catholic monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella. It ordered all Jews of whatever age to leave the kingdom by the last day of July. The Jews offered then an immense ransom of 600,000 crowns for the revocation of the edict. When the monarchs were ready to accept, Torquemada, the grand inquisitor, dashed into the royal presence and, throwing a crucifix down before the king and queen, asked whether, like Judas, they would betray their Lord for money.
The Jews were expulsed from Spain with fatal consequences for the whole country.

Sala y Francés is depicting here the moment when the fanatic Torquemada is accusing the Jews. It’s one of the highlights of Spanish history painting illustrating one of the darkest moments of her history.

1 comment:

  1. I'm happy to see this painting get some coverage. It is particularly interesting because of where it was painted and the audience for which is was painted. Sala did the work in Paris and sent it to Madrid for the Exposición Nacional–Spain's equivalent of the Paris Salon–of 1889. Compared to other works submitted to the contest, the work was particularly French in style; but, the subject could not be more Spanish. The work is currently on display in the Prado for the first time in nearly 100 years.