Saturn (c. 1821-1823) by Francisco Goya

Saturn - Francisco Goya - 1819 - 1823

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Artwork Information

ArtistFrancisco Goya
Date1819 - 1823
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions83 x 146 cm
Art MovementRomanticism
Current LocationMuseo del Prado, Madrid
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About Saturn

Saturn Devouring His Son is a mural painted by Spanish artist Francisco Goya between 1821-23, located in his house known as the Quinta del Sordo. The painting is commonly interpreted as a representation of the Greek myth of Saturn, also known as Cronus in Roman mythology, consuming one of his children. This artwork was part of Goya’s Black Paintings series and featured mainly black, grey, and brown colors with hints of red for blood.

Goya’s Black Paintings were created from 1819 to 1823 and are named after their dark nature. Saturn Devouring His Son was situated on the ground floor of Quinta del Sordo among other pieces from this collection. The mural displayed an image of Saturn eating his offspring, depicting a powerful figure amidst a gruesome act.

The inspiration for this work came from Rubens’ painting on the same subject. The myth suggests that Saturn ate his sons due to fear that they would become ruling gods like him when grown men. By utilizing somber tones that set off an eerie tone, Goya displayed not only technique but emotion through artistic expression making it one of his most popular paintings.

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