I was looking through some art books, and I came across a painting by
Francisco Goya (Saturn Devouring His Son) that struck a cord of memory. Something that H.P.
Lovecraft had written in his story Pickman's Model about a ghoul
crunching on a human body like a stick of Candy. So I dug out Pickman's
Model and gave it a reread, and sure enough, not only was the line there
that I remembered, but the story even mentions Goya by name. Here's the line:
"It was a colossal and nameless blasphemy with glaring red eyes, and
it held in its bony claws a thing that had been a man, gnawing at the
head as a child nibbles at a stick of candy. It's position was kind of a
crouch, and as one looked one felt that at any moment it might drop its
present prey and seek a juicer morsel."
I'd say that's a pretty good description of this painting. (Though he appears to have consumed the head and moved on to the arm.) So what do you think? The model for Pickman's model?