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Saturn Devouring his Son is the name given to a painting that
illustrates the myth of the Roman god Saturn. Saturn believed he would be dethroned
by one of his sons, he ate each of them moments after they were born. This
image is one of Goya’s most unforgettable images that belong to the series of
“Black Paintings”, which were paintings made mostly of dark pigments and blacks
in them that helped express their somber subject matter. Goya decorated the
walls of his house with violent and disturbing images which could have
reflected his depression and fears about his own death. Saturn Devouring His
Son is one of most illustrated works that Goya painted in his home. This
artwork shows, passion, anger, fear and many more emotions that Goya could have
been feeling at any time of his life due to the events that were going on
during this era.

            The picture
is a person’s execution by a psychopath who is unable to control his homicidal
behavior. Saturn’s messy hair and beard, his wide-eyed stare, and aggressive
movements all indicate his madness in a way as he is not going to lose his
power to anything that stands before him. He has already torn off and eaten his
child’s head, the right arm and part of his left arm, and he is about to take
another bite off the left arm. He has a grip of his dead child so tight that
his knuckles are white and blood drips from the top of his hands. Saturn has
this crazy look in his eyes, as if he knows this is insane and he knows it is
wrong to do it but he wants to stay in power so is willing to do what he must
in order to keep that power.

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            In the end,
Saturn does become dethroned by a son that escapes, Jupitar. Some may argue
that Saturn causes his own fate by trying to reverse it. This painting is a
reminder of what Goya was thinking and feeling. He shows what power does to
people and how it can make them treat their own children in order to stay in
power. Goya reflects this with what he saw how the Spanish monarchy and Napoleons
army destroyed the country. Then when he saw how restoration of the monarchy
destroyed the country as well. So, this nature of the art and turning on one’s
own children is most vivid and powerful about Goya’s artwork. How does power
take control over someone’s life enough to make you kill your own children?

If you look past Saturn’s basic anatomy,
Goya makes him look as if he is almost dissolving. His right elbow and his forearm
are almost dissolved, if you make your way up his arm, his shoulder almost
looks as if it is dissolved as well. As you look at his legs they pick up some
light and you can see his thighs, but there seems to be what could be an extra
piece of him next to his left thigh.

It is unclear as to why the rounded
buttocks and thighs of the half-eaten victim in Saturn’s hands are not those of
a boy or a man. The myth states that he ate his son moments after they were
born, but the person in the artwork does not look like a newborn baby, it
appears to be of a grown woman maybe, it could possibly be of his daughter. This
image reflects the world Goya saw. This is the way Goya witnessed everything that
happened during this era, the way the country was destroyed and the power that
is given to people and his understanding of humanity and what people are capable

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