Francisco de Goya

Saturn Devouring One of His Children (Saturno devorando a un hijo)

Clasificación
Saturn Devouring One of His Children (Saturno devorando a un hijo)
Datos Generales
Cronología
Ca. 1820 - 1823
Ubicación
The Prado National Museum. Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Dimensiones
143.5 x 81.5 cm
Técnica y soporte
Oil painting on plaster transferred to canvas
Reconocimiento de la autoría de Goya
Undisputed work
Titular
El Prado National Museum
Ficha: realización/revisión
27 Oct 2010 / 31 Jul 2017
Inventario
396 (P00763)
Historia

See Leocadia.

Análisis artístico

This painting was traditionally thought to have been located opposite Leocadia on the shorter wall of the lower floor of the house known as the Quinta del Sordo, but Glendinning has offered a new theory on its location. Photographs taken before the painting was lifted from the walls seem to reveal a light - possibly coming from a window - which lights up the painting more intensely on the right-hand side, suggesting that the it must have been situated on that side of the room, opposite Two Old Men.

In this painting Goya depicted the mythological subject of Saturn: the god of time who devoured his children when his wife gave birth to them until she was able to prevent him from killing the last, Jupiter, who defeated his father and made him disgorge all his brothers and sisters. The painting depicts the terrible moment when Saturn is dismembering and swallowing one of his children. He seems to crush through the body with the strength of his hands, the blood seeping between his fingers.

The iconographic image is reminiscent of Rubens' work of the same title, although there are differences between the two paintings. Rubens is more respectful of the traditional iconography of the subject, while Goya focuses on the cruel and aggressive side of the god.

According to Nordström, this painting is the starting point of the series that allows us to understand the iconographic programme of the room in which Saturn, the god of melancholy, symbolizes Goya's mood at the time, faced with old age and the illness he had suffered in 1819. Another link with Saturn is that Goya was marked by his sign as an artist and creator.

It is a very simple painting, bordering on the abstract. The intense expressionism of Saturn's face is striking. The face is full of movement, created with strong, vigorous brushstrokes that, according to Gudiol, conceal a perfect drawing underneath. It is a painting of contrasts, since the figure of the god stands out against a dark, neutral, rather unreal background and the red blood also contrasts with the black and grey tones, achieving a gruesome effect.

The expressionism that Goya develops in this painting would serve as an inspiration for contemporary artists: the way he distorts the body and the gestures of his figures as if they were beasts had an influence on 20th-century artists such as Solana or Francis Bacon.

 

Conservación

Apart from the restoration work carried out by Martínez Cubells in 1973, the Prado Museum also carried out further restoration work in 1919. It was restored once more in 1987 by Herlinda Cabrero.

The canvas was lined, and lost its white ground. During the first restoration the work was repainted in various places where the paint had been lost. One of the areas that had suffered the most damage was the eyes, which were repainted.

Exposiciones
  • Pinturas Negras en la Exposición Universal de París
    Palacio del Trocadero
    Paris
    1878
    from may 20th to November 10th 1878
  • Goya. 250 Aniversario
    Museo Nacional del Prado
    Madrid
    1996
    consultant editor Juan J. Luna. From March 29th to June 2nd 1996
Bibliografía
  • Goya, sa vie, son œuvre
    Charles Yriarte
    pp. 140
    1867
    Henri Plon
  • Goya, pintor de retratos, t. I
    Aureliano de Beruete Y Moret
    pp.122-127
    1916
    edición compendiada por Francisco Javier Sánchez Cantón: Madrid, Blass, 1928
  • Goya. Las Pinturas Negras
    Antonio F. Fuster
    pp. 129-132
    1963
    Goya Hispano-Inglesa de Reaseguros, D.L.
  • Vie et ouvre de Francisco de Goya
    Juliet Wilson and Pierre Gassier
    p. 328, cat. 1624
    1970
    Office du livre
  • Goya, 1746 – 1828. Biografía, estudio analítico y catálogo de sus pinturas, 4 vols.
    José Gudiol
    vol. I, p. 378, cat. 702
    1970
    Polígrafa
  • Goya
    Xavier Salas
    p. 201, cat. 585
    1974
    Carroggio S.A. de Ediciones
  • Goya's Black Paintings: Truth and Reason in Light and Liberty
    Priscilla E. Muller
    pp. 167-177
    1984
    Hispanic Society of America
  • Goya, Saturno y melancolía. Consideraciones sobre el arte de Goya
    Folke Nordström
    p.230-240
    1989
    La Balsa de la Medusa (Edición original: Estocolmo, Almqvis & Wiksell, 1962)
  • Las Pinturas negras de Goya
    Goya: Jornadas entorno al estado de la cuestión de los estudios sobre Goya
    Nigel Glendinning
    p. 44
    1993
  • Las pinturas negras
    José Manuel Arnáiz
    pp. 86-87
    1996
    Ediciones Antiquaria, S.A
  • Goya. Pinturas del Museo del Prado
    Margarita Moreno De Las Heras
    pp. 316-319
    1997
    Museo Nacional del Prado
  • Las Pinturas Negras de Goya
    Paulina Junquera
    pp. 64-65
    2003
    Scala Publishers Ltd.
  • Goya: Order & Disorder
    p. 19
    2014
    Museum of Fine Arts Boston Publications
Enlaces externos
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