From today's featured article
Witches' Sabbath (The Great He-Goat) is an oil mural by the Spanish artist Francisco Goya. Satan is depicted as a goat in moonlit silhouette who preaches to a coven of terrified witches; a young woman in black sits at far right, withdrawn from the others, perhaps in defiance. The mural is one of the fourteen Black Paintings Goya created on the plaster walls of his home, the Quinta del Sordo, around 1822. He was in his mid-70s, living alone and suffering mental and physical distress. As in some of his earlier works, in Witches' Sabbath Goya seems to explore themes of aging, death, violence and intimidation. It is generally seen by art historians as a satire on the credulity of the age and as a condemnation of superstitions, such as the witch trials of the Spanish Inquisition. Some fifty years after Goya's death, the murals were removed from the home by transferring them to canvas supports. Today the paintings are in the collection of the Museo del Prado in Madrid. (Full article...)
Did you know...
- ... that Marc Bloch (pictured), one of the most influential historians of the 20th century, was also a French Resistance fighter and was executed by the Gestapo in 1944?
- ... that the white wagtail is the national bird of Latvia?
- ... that selfish genetic elements are genes that can invade a population even though they are harmful to the individuals carrying them?
- ... that in 1947, state representative Rose M. Poole was part of a Republican majority in the Oregon House of Representatives that outnumbered Democrats 58 to 2?
- ... that the surrender of Valjala Stronghold in 1227 finalized the Crusader conquest of Estonia?
- ... that in her second novel, Echoes, Maeve Binchy underscores the paucity of educational opportunities in small Irish towns before the introduction of free secondary education in 1967?
- ... that Alexis Hartmann developed a new technique for testing blood sugar levels while he was still a medical student?
- ... that Australian rules footballer Will Schofield played on in a match despite a compound dislocation of his finger?
In the news
- In Zimbabwe, eight people are killed amid protests over the government's increase in the price of fuel.
- Former President of Ivory Coast Laurent Gbagbo (pictured) is acquitted of crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court.
- A terrorist attack by the militant group Al-Shabaab at a hotel compound in Nairobi, Kenya, kills at least twenty-one people.
- In Poland, Gdańsk Mayor Paweł Adamowicz dies after being stabbed on stage at a charity concert.
- Fifteen people are killed when a Saha Airlines Boeing 707 crashes on landing at Fath Air Base, Iran.
On this day
- 1535 – Conquistador Francisco Pizarro founded Ciudad de los Reyes, present-day Lima, Peru, as the capital of the lands he conquered for the Spanish Crown.
- 1884 – Welsh physician William Price was arrested for attempting to cremate his deceased infant son; he was acquitted in the subsequent trial, which led to the legalisation of cremation in the United Kingdom.
- 1943 – World War II: As part of Operation Iskra, the Soviet Red Army eased the Siege of Leningrad, opening a narrow land corridor to the city.
- 1958 – Black Canadian Willie O'Ree of the Boston Bruins played his first game in the National Hockey League, breaking the colour barrier in professional ice hockey.
- 1990 – In a sting operation conducted by the FBI, Marion Barry (pictured), the mayor of Washington, D.C., was arrested for possession of crack cocaine.