Fred Licht points out a connection between Goya's image and contemporary anti-Semitism: Among the persistent legends that were constantly fostered, especially by more ignorant clergymen, there was the quite widely believed notion that Jews, in order to make their Passover bread, needed the blood of a Christian infant. Goya, who had all his life fought against harmful superstition and false beliefs, must have been familiar with this old story. All over Europe, printed broadsides, as well as painted and even sculptural representations of this story, kept the population eternally agitated against the Jewish communities.
The Mystery of Goya's Saturn The image is ineffaceable: It is the painting known as Saturn Devouring One of His Sons, by Francisco Goya, an image that has been imprinted on my psyche since I first viewed it in college, in Critics have called his Saturn a symbol of evil, a Satan, a monster, and that is how I first saw him--like a huge, mad Richard Nixon, devouring Saturn devouring his son essay young men of America through the Vietnam War: Thirty years later, the painting still evokes in me an interior terror, a sense of isolation, loneliness, grief--this god on his knees, tearing apart his own child, enshrouded in a blackness that is like a psychic tar, clinging to me, clinging me to him, to a drama of primal murderousness, so that now I seem to be participant as well as viewer.
I look upon him, and I am implicated in the crime. This story of fathers and sons is one of the foundation tales of Western tradition: Abraham binding his son Isaac for sacrifice on Mount Moriah; God offering the sacrifice of His son Jesus on the cross.
The earliest version of the Kronos myth--Saturn is the later Roman name--was written down by Hesiod in his Theogony, around the eighth century, B. She gives him the sickle, hides him in her, and he castrates his father, preventing him from having more children, then assumes power among the Titans.
But fear lives in his heart; a usurper himself, he learns that one of his own children will usurp him, and he devours them at birth: As each child issued from the holy womb And lay upon its mother's knees, each one Was seized by mighty Kronos, and gulped down.
Through a ruse by his mother, the last born, Zeus, survives, leads a war against Kronos, and casts him down to Tartarus. Even gods cannot overcome Fate. Both works are illustrative of a literary theme, passionless, even morbidly comic.
Rubens's Saturn is out on a stroll, his foot resting momentarily on a stone, one hand holding his staff, the other grasping his meal--his infant son--biting into the boy's chest like "a sturdy Flemish burgher stooping to a roast goose," to quote Wyndham Lewis.
Goya's Titan is cunning-eyed; his mouth, clamped upon his son's leg to the thigh, is turned upwards in a leering grin; the legs of a second son he holds almost daintily, his pinky slightly raised.
Neither work is likely to evoke more than a passing grimace from a viewer. All of this changes with the Saturn ofone of the series known as the Black Paintings. What returned Goya to this subject? What did he recognize in himself that charged the work with such raw, wounding power?
Only one boy, Javier, survived beyond childhood. In Goya's letters to Martin Zapater, his friend from their school days in Saragossa, he often comments on Josefa's pregnancies, her illnesses, her many miscarriages.
My own wife had two miscarriages, one early in her pregnancy, the other at five months. She was forced to birth the second one--a boy--through induced labor, and the sight of his stringy, blood-marked fetus tormented me, as if some unspeakable, monstrous demon had entered her womb, and fed itself on his immeasurably vulnerable life.
Was he portraying his sense of potential cut off, of lives interrupted before they can begin? Even as I suggest this possible interpretation, inconsistencies within the painting call it into question. The figure gripped in the giant's hands is no child, but a full grown adult, which leads to another, allied interpretation: Shortly before he began the Black Paintings, Goya survived a near fatal illness, documented in his Self-portrait with Dr.
Arrieta, where the pained and weary artist, surrounded by dark, phantasmal faces, is ministered to by the doctor. Did Goya, sick, deaf, in his seventies, paint his lonely terror of his own mortality through his Saturn? But if the giant represents Time, why is he painted on bended knees, with spindly misshapen legs that seem unable to bear the weight of his enormous torso?
Is this Goya's sardonic commentary on Spain's recent war with France--presenting a crippled Time, forced to overfeed on the numberless dead? On the dead of all wars? Or is the figure a symbol of war itself, the culminating portrait of the horrors he chronicled in his series of etchings, The Disasters of War, in ?
Every interpretation of a painting rooted so complexly in the mind of Goya leads, as with dreams, to new interpretations. In the universe before the coming of Christ, Saturn, frenziedly eating his own child-god, might be seen as engaged in an act of perverse communion.
The Christian God sacrificed his son that all humankind might live; the Titan acts out of fear and jealousy, and the body of his child reveals not the mystery of resurrection, but the dark and violent mysteries of the psyche, a Tartarus of blood and madness, where all instincts and emotions merge, and consequence is forgotten.
A realm of unconsciousness. Of mutilation and murder. From this perspective, Saturn might be Goya's warning to humankind, whose wars and wanton cruelties, devotion to superstition and false gods will lead it to dissolution, to the Nada scrawled by the corpse as its last message in the etching, "Nothing.
I think again of Javier, Goya's only child to survive to adulthood. From the beginning, Goya loved him, pampered him, fretted over him.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.
Apr 07, · Saturn Devouring His Son Artist Francisco de Goya Year c. – Medium Oil mural transferred to canvas Location Museo del Prado, Madrid Dimensions x in x 81 cm Famous Paintings by Goya Saturn Devouring His Son The Third of May La Maja Desnuda The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters Witches’ SabbathArtist: Francisco de Goya.
Saturn Devouring His Son Essay Saturn Devouring His Son Saturn Devouring His Son is a name given to a mural painting painted by Francisco Jose de Goya y Lucientes during year to at his house Quinta del Sordo (Villa of The Deaf Man) which is located at Spain.
Romanticism, Goya, and Saturn Devouring His Children Essay. Sean Goharzadeh History of Art II Term Project – Essay – Romanticism, Goya, Saturn Devouring His Children The field of visual arts, too, had seen this progression - Romanticism, Goya, and Saturn Devouring His Children Essay .
Saturn Devouring his Son is a history painting that illustrates the myth of the Roman god Saturn, who, haunted by a prophecy that he would be overthrown by one of his sons, ate each of them moments after they were born.
(In the end, his wife hid his sixth son, Jupiter, who duly overthrew Saturn just as the prophecy had predicted.). Cronus Essay.
Saturn Devouring His Son is a disturbing portrait painted by Francisco Goya on onto the walls of his house - Cronus Essay introduction. Years later he painted over canvas with oils, he intended to raise awareness of the meaning of the Greek Myth Cronus.