Saturn devouring his son, Francisco de Goya

Saturn devouring his son, Francisco de Goya
Saturn devouring his son, Francisco de Goya - 1

  • Posted by Francisco de Goya
  • Museum: Prado Museum
  • Year: 1819-1823

Overview of the painting :

Saturn devouring his son – Francisco de Goya. 1819-1823. Oil on canvas. 146×215; 83 cm

   One of the most famous wall paintings by Francisco Goya, included in the cycle “Bad paintings”.

   Over the years, the picture has gained many interpretations, however, the traditional one says that Kronos, the deity of the highest order from ancient Greek mythology, acts as the hero of the painting. Later, the Romans, who adopted part of the mythology from the Greeks, renamed Kronos to Saturn, and it was under this name that the painting went down in the history of painting.

   The plot of the picture is as follows – once Uranus predicted to titanium that he would be overthrown by his children, and, fearing this, Kronos or Saturn devoured all his children, they almost managed to see the light. But cunning Ree, managed to deceive the cruel Kronos – she hid her son Zeus, and instead gave her husband a stone to swallow.

   Some researchers are ready to argue that the monster devouring the baby is Kronos, because the myth says that the titan devoured his sons right in the diapers, and in Goya’s picture he tears living flesh apart.

   The artist’s interpretation of this plot is very curious, especially in comparison with the works of other painters who addressed this topic. If Rubens Saturn has a completely confident deity with a human appearance in his picture, then Goya Saturn is a freak and a monster with a scary body and wrong proportions.

   The painting was created from 1819 to 1823. – on the wall of his house, which the inhabitants nicknamed how the “Villa of the Deaf” Goya created a series of terrible frescoes that he did not give a name. Modernists recalled that the artist was in a particularly gloomy mood at that time, connected with the failures of the Spanish Revolution, and decided to write frescoes more appropriate to Goya’s mood on top of the already created cheerful paintings. So this awesome series arose.

   The famous house was not preserved, and was destroyed at the beginning of the last century, however, fortunately, all the frescoes of the famous painter were transferred to the canvas by Salvador Kubels. Today, Saturn devouring his son is stored in the Prado Museum.