Recently I visited the Royal Palace in Madrid and in the throne room I saw a statue of what appeared to be a man holding up a small child, about to strike him with an open palm. I'm very curious as to what the this statue is about.

I was unable to photograph the statue as taking photos is forbidden in the palace although I managed to find an image of it on Google, the statue is by the door at the back of the photo.

Throne Room - Royal Palace Madrid

and a closeup

Close Up of the Statue


1 Answer 1


This is a statue of Saturn, part of the Planets series by Jacques Jonghelinck. Here is an article that reconstructs the history of the statues, with more detailed pictures on page 126. Given how the myth of Saturn devouring his son has been an artistic theme in other occasions, the fate of the child is likely to be much worse than a spanking.

  • Thanks, you did well to find that. I thought at first it might have shown how the King's brother ascends to the throne by killing the next in line.
    – chrisg42
    Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 5:43
  • @chrisg42 What? Why would a statue in a royal palace depict something like that? What could make you think that?
    – walen
    Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 7:31

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