At the end of the last post, “What’s Feeling Got To Do With It?” I asked you to examine this Goya painting, Saturn Devouring One of His Sons:
|1821-23, Plaster mounted on canvas, Prado|
Inverted, we see dramatic light-and-dark effects, somber richness and ruggedness of paint application, thrusts and counter thrusts of sinewy, bony volumes, and a forceful pattern of color units that set up an animated, subtly varied composition expressing jagged, angular movement. Light shapes emerge from darkness, and light shapes are sucked into darkness.
Emerging from blackness, the lights force you to follow them: (now from top to bottom) the v-shaped “legs” extend like a wishbone; the “baby’s calves,” “thighs,” and rounded “buttocks,” undulate up to the lineal, horizontal vise-like grip that were “hands” as they dig into the “back” to continue a skewered line of “back-bone” that bends to the left. Moving to the right, a sliver of curved light enters the black hole of the “mouth,” where it disappears; the “whites” of the “eyes” punctuate the receding “forehead,” from which “flames” of “hair” shoot out into the darkness and connect to the extended T-bone pocket of the right “arm.” The “pupils,” black dots in white circles, continue the rhythmic, jumpy movement.
|The Philosopher, c. 1921, Private Collection|