Prison Interior

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Prison Interior. 42.9cm x 31.7cm, Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle

Prison Interior (Spanish: Interior de cárcel) is an oil on canvas painting completed by the Spanish artist Francisco Goya (1746–1828) between 1793-94. The painting is bathed in a dim, cold light which gives it look feeling of purgatory.

It is one of a number of works the artist made of scenes set in lunatic asylums, including Yard with Lunatics (1793–1794) and The Madhouse (1812-1813).[1] These works were painted at a time when mad-houses were 'holes in the social surface, small dumps into which the psychotic could be thrown without the smallest attempt to discover, classify, or treat the nature of their illness."[2] Goya often feared for his own sanity, a fact which underscores these works with feelings of dread.


  1. ^ Hughes, 140
  2. ^ Hughes, 139