‘Saturn devouring his son’ and the 13 other Black Paintings were never meant for public display. In 1819 Francisco Goya went into near isolation and painted the works directly onto the walls of his house. The haunting pictures reflect Goya’s internal demons and civil strife occurring in Spain

“Saturn Devouring His Son” by Francisco Goya

“Saturn Devouring His Son” by Francisco Goya depicts the Greek myth of the Titan, who fears that he would be overthrown by one of his children, so he ate each one of his children 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 the canvas after Goya’s death and has since been held in the Museo del Prado in Madrid.

The Roman myth was inspired by the original Greek mythology, in which it had been foretold that one of the sons of Saturn (Cronus is his name in the Greek original myth) would overthrow him, just as Saturn had overthrown his father.

To prevent this, Saturn ate his children moments after each was born…. Continue Reading (4 minute read)

12 thoughts on “‘Saturn devouring his son’ and the 13 other Black Paintings were never meant for public display. In 1819 Francisco Goya went into near isolation and painted the works directly onto the walls of his house. The haunting pictures reflect Goya’s internal demons and civil strife occurring in Spain”

  1. BaxterBarclay

    Here’s a creepy bonus: The description of the painting as depicting Saturn devouring his son was only a theory applied to it after the fact, we don’t know what Goya meant for it to represent. Some have pointed out that the body being devoured more closely resembles an adult woman than a man or boy.

  2. Dog1234cat

    Honey, did you have to put that ghastly Saturn painting in the dining room?

  3. AngelTheMute

    Had Goya’s Dog as my phone wallpaper for the longest time. Idk why but I live that little doggo. Feels like such a stark difference when juxtaposed with the subject matter of the remaining Black Paintings. Unless there’s some crazy dark meaning behind it…

    Edit: Wow, I guess there is some dark meaning behind it, at least for most people. The common interpretation is that the Dog is drowning. 🙁

  4. rexsilex

    Where can I find the others?

  5. Gigibop

    How do you transfer a painting on a wall to canvas?

  6. dead_parakeets

    That one of the women laughing has some real Chris Cunningham vibes.

  7. Bean-Buns

    I remember seeing this for the first time as a young girl. My father had gifted me a book filled with paintings depicting Greek/Roman mythology. Seeing that picture now, I remember the fear I felt when I first laid eyes on it. This was an insane Titan, fearful of anyone taking his throne. There was only madness in his eyes, and he was willing to do whatever it took to protect himself, even devouring his children, bit by bit. This painting has always stuck with me, my first brush with horror.

  8. FeelingCheetah1

    This reminds me of that season of Dexter with the crazy religious guy who paints dexter on satan In the dining room of the family he murdered

  9. ChapelLeader54

    There’s a Lovecraft short story based on this called Pickman’s Model

  10. p3rm4fr0s7

    I hung that painting on my hallway wall for 3 years. Eventually someone put a post it on it that said “Is butter a carb?”

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