Museums and Art

Saturn devouring his son, Francisco de Goya

Saturn devouring his son, Francisco de Goya

Saturn devouring his son - Francisco de Goya. 146x215; 83 cm

One of the most famous murals of Francisco Goya, included in the cycle “Gloomy paintings”.

Over the past years, the picture has gained many interpretations, however, the traditional says that the hero of the painting is Kronos, the highest order deity from ancient Greek mythology. Later, the Romans, who took over part of the mythology from the Greeks, renamed Kronos into 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 the titan that he would be overthrown by his children, and, fearing this, Kronos or Saturn devoured all his children, as soon as they had time to see the light. But the cunning Rhea managed to deceive the cruel Kronos - she hid her son Zeus, and instead gave him a stone to swallow her husband.

Some researchers are willing to bet that the monster devouring a baby is Kronos, because the myth says that the titan devoured his sons right in the diapers, and in the picture of Goya he tears the living flesh.

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

The painting was created in the period from 1819 to 1823. - On the wall of his house, which the residents nicknamed as “Villa of the Deaf”, Goya created a series of scary frescoes that he did not give a name. Contemporaries recalled that at that time the artist was in a particularly gloomy mood associated with the failures of the Spanish Revolution, and decided to paint frescoes more in line with the already created cheerful murals that were more in line with Goya's mood. So this awesome series arose.

The famous house did not survive, 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 kept in the Prado Museum.


Watch the video: Robert Hughes interview on Francisco Goya 2003 (November 2021).