saturn devouring his son

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Saturn Devouring His Son is the name given to a painting by Spanish artist Francisco Goya. According to the traditional interpretation, it depicts the Greek myth of the Titan Cronus (in the title Romanized to Saturn), who, fearing that he would be overthrown by one of his children, ate each one upon their birth.

the signs as famous paintings (not necessarily based on the artists’ actual sign)

ARIES: The Starry Night, Vincent van Gogh (1889)

TAURUS: The Birth Of Venus, Sandro Botticelli (1484-1486)

GEMINI: Impression, Sunrise, Claude Monet (1872)

CANCER: The Kiss, Gustav Klimt (1907-1908)

LEO: The Scream, Edvard Munch (1893)

VIRGO: The Son Of Man, Rene Magritte (1964)

LIBRA: Christina’s World, Andrew Wyeth (1948)

SCORPIO: Guernica, Pablo Picasso (1937)

SAGITTARIUS: Nighthawks, Edward Hopper (1942)

CAPRICORN: Saturn Devouring His Son, Francisco Goya (1819-1823)

AQUARIUS: Self-Portrait With Thorn Necklace And Hummingbird, Frida Kahlo (1940)

PISCES: The Persistence Of Memory, Salvador Dali (1931)

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Francisco Goya’s Black Paintings

1. Saturn Devouring his Son, 1819-23, oil mural transferred to canvas, 143 x 81 cm, Museo del Prado, Madrid. Source

2. The Dog, 1819-23, oil mural transferred to canvas, 131.5 x 79.3 cm, Museo del Prado, Madrid. Source

3. Two Old Men Eating Soup, 1819-23, oil mural transferred to canvas, 49.3 x 83.4 cm, Museo del Prado, Madrid. Source

4. Judith and Holofernes, 1819-23, oil mural transferred to canvas, 143.5 x 81.4 cm, Museo del Prado, Madrid. Source

5. Two Old Men, 1819-23, oil mural transferred to canvas, 146 x 66 cm, Museo del Prado, Madrid. Source

6. The Fates, 1819-23, oil mural transferred to canvas, 123 x 266 cm, Museo del Prado, Madrid. Source

7. Fight with Cudgels, 1819-23, oil mural transferred to canvas, 123 x 266 cm, Museo del Prado, Madrid. Source

8. Witches’ Sabbath, 1819-23, oil mural transferred to canvas, 140 x 438 cm, Museo del Prado, Madrid. Source

9. Fantastic Vision, 1819-23, oil mural transferred to canvas, 125.4 x 65.4 cm, Museo del Prado, Madrid. Source

10. Man Mocked by Two Women, 1819-23, oil mural transferred to canvas, 125.4 x 65.4 cm, Museo del Prado, Madrid. Source

Here is a selection of works from Goya’s famous ‘Black Paintings’ series, which consists of fourteen murals that were painted directly onto the walls of the Quinta del Sordo house in Madrid, where the artist lived between 1819 and 1823. They have since been removed, transferred to canvases, and become part of the Museo del Prado’s collection.

The series is pretty dark, to say the least. It is rife with themes of witchcraft, insanity, violence and death’s inevitability. My personal favourite is Saturn Devouring his Son, which is based on the story of Saturn’s Greek counterpart, Cronus, and how he ate his sons after hearing that they would eventually overthrow him. However, Saturn/Cronus was tricked by Rhea into swallowing a stone instead of one of his children. This son, of whom Rhea was the mother, was Zeus, and he would eventually have Cronus and the other titans imprisoned. Goya’s depiction is deliciously gory and terrifying. Saturn’s face is enough to give you nightmares!