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The canvas belongs to the brush of the Spanish artist Francisco Goya. The exact date of its creation is unknown. It is assumed that the painting was painted between 1812 and 1819.
Central to it is a raging crowd of people carrying a banner with a smiling mask in the center. The name of the painting is associated with the custom that arose in Spain in the XVIII century.
One day before the Ashen Week, when all the inhabitants of Madrid gathered in the central square to participate in a three-day carnival, the king of Spain ordered them to be treated with sardines. Unfortunately, for the reputation of the monarch, the sardines were not fresh. However, such a sad circumstance did not upset the townspeople at all. By this time, they had drunk so much wine and other spirits that they found nothing more amusing than to arrange a funeral sardine.
This action seemed so ridiculous that the next year they decided to repeat it. This time, pre-spoiled sardines were used. The funeral of the sardines pleased the Spaniards so much that they soon overgrown with new clownish customs and rituals.
It should be noted that, as ardent admirers of the Catholic faith, the Spaniards did not see anything blasphemous in such an absurd action, therefore, in the time of Goya, tradition was not forgotten. Judging by how the characters in the picture are vividly spelled out, the artist took a personal part in the “funeral procession”. In the capital of Spain, the farewell procession was led by "Uncle Chispas", his daughter Chuska and the young womanizer Juanillo.
It was they who led the crowd, carrying a huge stuffed animal with the head of a sardine. The procession began in the main square and ended off the coast of Manzanares, in the waters of which the ill-fated sardine found peace. Modern residents of Spanish cities and villages also honor this custom.
Portrait of an Old Man In Red