Saturn Devouring His Son is a disturbing portrait painted by Francisco Goya on 1819 onto the walls of his house. Years later he painted over canvas with oils, he intended to raise awareness of the meaning of the Greek Myth Cronus. Cronus, the titan represents destruction and the all-devouring cannibalism animal nature. In fear of a prophecy that he would be in turn be overthrown by his own son, Saturn swallowed each of his children as soon as they were born. This titan is the personification of a very human feeling such as fear of losing power.
The characters, colors, and context made this painting a unique piece of art. Saturn Devouring His Son is part of the “Black Paintings” series which depict the Greek Myth Cronus. This painting is exhibited at Prado Museum in Madrid, Spain. Saturn Devouring His Son is an oil painting with two peculiar characters in a scene of cannibalistic horror. Cronus with his anxious face, evil gaze, and a maniacal aspect is holding in his hands the headless body of his child and part of the left arm has already been consumed.
The right arm has probably been eaten, too. His appearance shows how evil can be, because he is devouring his own son. The titan is at the point of taking another bite from the left arm; as he looms from the darkness, his mouth gapes and his eyes bulge whitely. The way that Cronus is kneeling indicates that he is ready to get up and run. His body indicated his fierce strength and the hair of the disheveled titan as the mane of a lion. The position that he is shows the Cronus fear of loss power over the time, that why he consumed his son.
This image looks like when a beast traps his pray and is eager to eat it. Not only are the characters important in this painting also the color plays an important role in the interpretation of Saturn Devouring His Son. The color can say much more than a description. Saturn Devouring His Son, in a dark background the body of Cronus reflects cold colors interpreting the anger and fury that he consumes his child. The brightness comes from the white flesh, the red blood of the corpse, and the white knuckles of Saturn as he digs his fingers into the back of the body.
This bright color captures more attention, and made this paint more interesting so the contrast in engaging the viewers. They can look beyond the simple picture, and interpret how they want this painting. The white and anxious eyes can be seen like a sign of craze. The red color of the blood means that another innocent child is dead by the powerful Cronus who not want lose his power. In addition, to the characters and colors, the most important is the context it has many things to express.
The interpretation of Saturn Devouring His Son is the conflict between youth and old age, time as the devourer of all things, the wrath of God and an allegory of the situations. But, at the same time the conflict between power and man nature, what it means that Titan do not allowed growing up his children, fearing to die because in the prophecy was already announced that he would be in turn be overthrown by his own son. Also, he felt old and losing his power over the time and by this way Cronus showed that he had everything under control.
Looking at this painting is easier understand the nature of the men and how they do not want lose power over the time even they get older and weaker. They want be always the main procreative species in this world. Saturn Devouring His Son is essential to understand the human condition in modern times. In day each event matches with this image, how the evil mind of the men do not care about the others. Careless they obtain whatever they want, no matter who they hurt.
However, the context reveals the style, the way that he painted reveals Goya’s wild style, where he probed the darker side of human emotions and tore apart the pretensions and foibles, the vanity, the savagery, injustice, folly, and ignorance of allegedly civilized Man. The wild style make that the viewer considers the damage that sometimes is caused by humans and how they can change or try to do better things, to do not hurt other people. Goya’s portrait of Cronus is appalling act of cannibalism is executed with gruesome candor and painterly freedom.
The brushwork is vigorous, the details sketchy, the proportions inexact. The cold colors on the maniacal image painted over the canvas with oils. It marked both a beginning and an end: the end of painting as a hope, as a window onto the world where people need to reflect about what they doing wrong and the beginning of the painting as a view of the man who over time loses power a change that will granted the well-being of men. Saturn Devouring His Son, a spectacular painting, which brought a different view of the human nature as well as the titan destruction and the all-devouring annibalism animal nature. In fear of a prophecy that he would be in turn be overthrown by his own son, Cronus swallowed each of his children as soon as they were born. Describing the character Cronus and his headless child, the cold colors that represent the sadness that another innocent child was killed by his father, and context the meaning or how the viewer want interpret this painting. Paying attention the viewers can discover what is behind this image. The Greek Mythology of Cronus and human nature gives a clue to understand the meaning of Saturn Devouring His Son.