Cronos dévorant ses enfants, created in terracotta by Jacques Richardot (1743–1806), was acquired by the Pierre-François Tilmon Fund. The fund, which helps safeguard the cultural heritage of museums in Namur, has entrusted the sculpture to the Musée Groesbeeck de Croix in Namur. The museum already exhibits a number of works by Jacques Richardot and is currently putting together the reference collection of this sculptor and ceramic artist.
The visitor cannot help but be impressed by the work’s refinement and precision of the execution. The spiral movement that animates the characters literally draws one into the mythological scene of Cronos, Rhea and their children.
Cronos married his sister but refused to let their children live. According to his parents’ prophecy, Cronos would be dethroned by his own son and so he decided to kill each child as it was born. Zeus, one of his children, escaped this fate and much later on obliged his father to spit out all of his children.
The interest in this piece for the heritage of Namur lies not only in its excellent creation and rich iconography, but also in the exceptional fact that it is signed and dated. According to the sculpture, it was made in 1783 and could therefore be one of the pieces made by Richardot whilst he was in Saint-Servais. This makes it contemporaneous to another of Richardot’s works in the Museum: Persée et Andromède (1783-1786).