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Francisco Goya (1746 - 1828) is a symbol of Art in Spain and one of
In 1819 Goya bought a house outside
Goya's black paintings are both dark in colour, as well as in theme, mainly portraying distorted figures and pained faces. They are thought to be a manifestation of his estrangement to society, his fears and anxieties. There were 14 black paintings in total, which were later transferred to canvas and displayed in the
Undoubtedly one of the most famous of these fourteen paintings is Saturn Devouring his Son, which shows the Roman god Saturn eating his own child, the head and arm having already been eaten. According to Roman mythology, a prophecy told Saturn that one of his sons would overthrow him and so he ate each of his children after they were born to prevent this happening. Other painters, such as Peter Paul Rubens have also depicted this image, which is perhaps where Goya´s inspiration comes from. Goya´s version is different however, in that Saturn´s bulging eyes portray his savage insanity at eating his own child, where as Rubens´ version is more refined. The real darkness of this painting and the savageness of the image are perhaps symbolic of what Goya has seen humans be capable of doing to each other, as well as a reflection of his own fear of insanity.
Another famous Goya painting is Witches´ Sabbath, which depicts the devil in the form of a horned goat surrounded by a circle of fearful and obedient women. To the right is a young woman with a black cape, observing what is happening. It is thought that she might be about to be initiated into the coven of witches. The image is a darker portrayal of his earlier work, Witches´ Sabbath (1789). Both the paintings are a satirical comment on the superstition of the Spanish people during this period and how Goya objected to government´s use of this as a political tool.
Other famous Black paintings by Goya, created between 1819 and 1823, include Asmodea, Fight with Cudgels and Two old men eating soup.