#WeCreate: Saturn Eating His Children

Sam av

Today I want to share with you one of my all-time favorite paintings. It’s by a Spanish painter named Francisco Goya, and it’s called “Saturn Eating His Children” (also,” Saturn Devouring His Children” or “Saturn Devouring His Son”).

This is a good example of my appreciation in general. The dark colors, the crazed look in his eyes, and the horrifying detail. I visited a couple of museums in Spain, but of everything I saw while I was there, there are three moments that stand out: 1) Picasso’s naughty paintings 2) the unapologetic gore of Saturn Eating his Children.

When I think of art museums, I typically think of ancient artifacts like the armless sculptures of Greece, or stuffy old Elizabethan and Victorian style portraits. I think of the biblical feasts, stained glass, and angels. When I went to the museums in Spain – most notably, Museo Del Prado – I was pleasantly surprised at how much I actually enjoyed it. I took my sweet time making my way through the museum. I stopped in front of each and every painting.

It’s a funny thing about painters…some of them have odd ideas about what to put in a painting. If you look very closely, there are creepy, weird things in the corners, or pieces of a scenery that maybe doesn’t make sense at first. Many of these have hidden meaning to the painter. Some of them may just have a sick sense of humor. But I often found myself staring at the strangest bit of the painting rather than absorbing the full effect and wondering at why it was put there that way. Like streakers in the background, or ominous random skulls scattered throughout a painting.

Like I said…just odd.

What I like about Saturn Eating His Children is that it’s very direct. You don’t have to sit in front of it for several minutes to understand it. You can clearly see it even from across the room. It’s disturbing. It’s loud. It’s not subtle.

Like, “Hey. I’m eating this maimed corpse. AND IT’S DELICIOUS.” And there’s this look in his eyes that you’d have to be crazy to fuck with him.

I love that.


S.K. Balk lives in the frozen wasteland of Northern Michigan. She is the author of the dystopian medical sci-fi THE BLOOD OF NERYS (also available in print).

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About oneofthedragons

Samantha K. Balk and F. R. Donaldson met on An Archive of Our Own, one of the many fanfiction sites online, when Sam asked Frankie to illustrate the fanfiction that would one day lead to Sam's first novel. They've been friends ever since! This blog was created as a way to share the oftentimes difficult journey any new author experiences on the uncomfortable quest of an introvert for attention to his or her most personal work. It is meant to remind you that authors don't just appear fully fledged like a George R. R. Martin, that all of us start out unsure and feeling inadequate. Feel free to ask us anything. Sam: sammykaye9@gmail.com Frankie: reluctant.fraggle@gmail.com

Posted on August 27, 2016, in Updates. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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