GOYA Y LUCIENTES, Francisco de
(b. 1746, Fuendetodos, d. 1828, Bordeaux)
Saturn Devouring One of his Children1819-23
Plaster mounted on canvas, 146 x 83 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid
This painting (Saturno devorando a un hijo) was originally in the ground floor room of the Quinta del Sordo.
Saturn Devouring One of his Children is perhaps the cruellest of the Black Paintings.The nightmare quality is combined with myth to make an epochal statement: this is the madness of truth. Whether this is a reflection of Goya's own mental state, or an allegory on the situation in a country that was consuming its own children in bloody wars and revolutions, or a statement on the human condition generally, may remain open. It could also be a reflection of the situation of the enlightened man who has lost his God and is able to experience only mercilessness on cosmic scale.