artmastered

artmastered:

Francisco Goya’s Black Paintings, 1819-23, oil murals transferred to canvases, Museo del Prado, Madrid.

Saturn Devouring his Son, 143 x 81 cm; The Dog, 131.5 x 79.3 cm; Two Old Men Eating Soup, 49.3 x 83.4 cm; Judith and Holofernes, 143.5 x 81.4 cm; Two Old Men, 146 x 66 cm; The Fates, 123 x 266 cm; Fight with Cudgels, 123 x 266 cm; Witches’ Sabbath, 140 x 438 cm; Fantastic Vision, 125.4 x 65.4 cm; Man Mocked by Two Women, 125.4 x 65.4 cm.

Here is a selection of works from Goya’s famous ‘Black Paintings’ series, which consists of fourteen murals that were painted directly onto the walls of the Quinta del Sordo house in Madrid, where the artist lived between 1819 and 1823. They have since been removed, transferred to canvases, and become part of the Museo del Prado’s collection.

The series is pretty dark, to say the least. It is rife with themes of witchcraft, insanity, violence and death’s inevitability. My personal favourite is Saturn Devouring his Son, which is based on the story of Saturn’s Greek counterpart, Cronus, and how he ate his sons after hearing that they would eventually overthrow him. However, Saturn/Cronus was tricked by Rhea into swallowing a stone instead of one of his children. This son, of whom Rhea was the mother, was Zeus, and he would eventually have Cronus and the other titans imprisoned. Goya’s depiction is deliciously gory and terrifying. Saturn’s face is enough to give you nightmares!

artmastered
artmastered:

Robert Motherwell, The Little Spanish Prison, 1941-44, oil on canvas, 69.2 x 43.5 cm, MoMA, New York:

Though abstract and “deliberately freehand,” the repeated vertical bands in this painting suggest imprisonment, while the rectangle can be read as a window. Keenly aware of Surrealism’s interest in unrehearsed or “automatic” gestures, Motherwell began this painting by pouring thin, dark pigment on the canvas. The Little Spanish Prison’s bright palette was inspired by the artist’s recent trip to Mexico, while its title refers to the Spanish Civil War (1936–39)—a subject that remained important to the artist. Motherwell painted the magenta rectangle black in the late 1940s, then revealed the original color again twenty years later. He considered this painting “the first picture in which I hit something that is deep in my character.”

artmastered:

Robert Motherwell, The Little Spanish Prison, 1941-44, oil on canvas, 69.2 x 43.5 cm, MoMA, New York:

Though abstract and “deliberately freehand,” the repeated vertical bands in this painting suggest imprisonment, while the rectangle can be read as a window. Keenly aware of Surrealism’s interest in unrehearsed or “automatic” gestures, Motherwell began this painting by pouring thin, dark pigment on the canvas. The Little Spanish Prison’s bright palette was inspired by the artist’s recent trip to Mexico, while its title refers to the Spanish Civil War (1936–39)—a subject that remained important to the artist. Motherwell painted the magenta rectangle black in the late 1940s, then revealed the original color again twenty years later. He considered this painting “the first picture in which I hit something that is deep in my character.”

artmastered
artmastered:

Joan Miró, The Tilled Field, 1923-24, oil on canvas, 66 × 92.7 cm, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York

During the summer of 1923 Joan Miró began painting The Tilled Field, a view of his family’s farm in Montroig, Catalonia. Although thematically related to his earlier quasi-realistic, Fauvist-colored rural views, such as Prades, The Village, this painting is the first example of Miró’s Surrealist vision. Its fanciful juxtaposition of human, animal, and vegetal forms and its array of schematized creatures constitute a realm visible only to the mind’s eye, and reveal the great range of Miró’s imagination. While working on the painting he wrote, “I have managed to escape into the absolute of nature.” The Tilled Field is thus a poetic metaphor that expresses Miró’s idyllic conception of his homeland, where, he said, he could not “conceive of the wrongdoings of mankind.”

artmastered:

Joan Miró, The Tilled Field, 1923-24, oil on canvas, 66 × 92.7 cm, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York

During the summer of 1923 Joan Miró began painting The Tilled Field, a view of his family’s farm in Montroig, Catalonia. Although thematically related to his earlier quasi-realistic, Fauvist-colored rural views, such as Prades, The Village, this painting is the first example of Miró’s Surrealist vision. Its fanciful juxtaposition of human, animal, and vegetal forms and its array of schematized creatures constitute a realm visible only to the mind’s eye, and reveal the great range of Miró’s imagination. While working on the painting he wrote, “I have managed to escape into the absolute of nature.” The Tilled Field is thus a poetic metaphor that expresses Miró’s idyllic conception of his homeland, where, he said, he could not “conceive of the wrongdoings of mankind.”