Saturn Devouring His Son is the name given to a painting by Spanish artist Francisco Goya. According to the traditional interpretation, it depicts the Greek myth of the Titan Cronus (in the title Romanized to Saturn), who, fearing that he would be overthrown by one of his children, ate each one upon their birth. The work is one of the 14 Black Paintings that Goya painted directly onto the walls of his house sometime between 1819 and 1823. It was transferred to canvas after Goya’s death and has since been held in the Museo del Prado in Madrid.
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Facts & Info About Painting
- Goya did not intend for these paintings to be viewed by the public.
- Goya has been viewed by some as artistically insane, yet others believe he was simply expressing his own bitterness toward the general human condition.
- Goya’s limited use of bright colors as seen in the whites of his eyes, the whitening of his knuckles as he grasps the child’s body, and the brash paleness of the dead child’s backside with the redness of the blood are in stark contrast to the dark and gloomy colors that were otherwise used in the painting.
- It has been rumored that, at the time the painting was discovered, the portrayal of Saturn included a state of sexual arousal as he consumed the child.
- Goya chose his dining area for painting the mural of Saturn Devouring His Son.
- Some believe that Goya was so embittered by the political unrest of his beloved Spain that he felt the need to express his bitterness through his art.
- Saturn Devouring His Son is a disturbing portrayal of conflict, fear, and the bloodlust that can accompany the lust for power.