Myth, or truth? A glance over the metamorphosis of divinity

For millennia humanity has concocted elaborated stories to navigate the world, our surroundings, and that what we call life. Each tale tells the story of human imagination.

Rangi and Papa (2023/2023) by PhilalethesRoyal Bridges

Rangi and Papa

The primordial divine beings in Maori mythology in today’s New Zealand – Aoteroa. Both Rangi and Paga are so enamoured with each other that they lie locked together in a tight embrace; their offspring is forced to live in the cramped darkness between them.

Rangi and Papa, Philalethes, 2023/2023, From the collection of: Royal Bridges
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After many attempts Tāne, god of forests and birds, forces his parents apart. Tāne succeeds with the aid of Tāwhirimātea, the god of storms and winds as well as Tangaroa, god of seas and fish. For the full story on video, watch here.

Rangi and Papa (2023/2023) by PhilalethesRoyal Bridges

Rangi and Papa

Rangi and Papa suffered immensely owing to their separation, and cried so much that they covered the earth with their tears. They continue to grieve each other to this day.

Alulim (2021/2021) by PhilalethesRoyal Bridges

Alulim, the mighty shall fall

According to the Sumerian regal chronicles, King Alulim ruled during a period of over 28,000 years. After creation, "kingship fell from heaven" as stated in ancient Sumerian tablets. Hence he was humanity’s first monarch.

Alulim (2021/2021) by PhilalethesRoyal Bridges

Alulim, the mighty shall fall

Yet even he could not escape death, and now dwells wearing a crown without lustre in the underworld. The goddess Ishtar herself caught eye of him eating dust, for even the mighty are meant to fall.

Ukemochi (2020/2020) by PhilalethesRoyal Bridges

The Banquet of Ukemochi

Darkness is a common subject throughout human history, and the manner whereby the Nipponese explicate the separation of day and night is no difference. Thus was the tragic story of Ukemochi [保食神], a primordial ‘kami’ of food in the Shinto endemic belief system to Japan.

The Banquet of Ukemochi

Ukemochi invites Amateratsu, the goddess of the Sun for a dinner. Amateratsu fails to attend but dispatches her consort Tsukuyomi, Lord of the Moon. Ukemochi prepares the banquet from foodstuffs that emanate from her body, the fluids and orifices thereof.

The Banquet of Ukemochi

Tsukuyomi was so mortified whilst beholding how foodstuffs came out of Ukemochi’s body, that he slew her thereafter. Amateratsu was so horrified by the deed that she separated from Tsukuyomi, since then the sun and the moon are never seen together.

Facing destiny (2019/2019) by PhilalethesRoyal Bridges

Facing Destiny

Albeit Amateratsu separated from Tsukuyomi, she still watches over her own mortal lineage, the Nipponese emperors.

Facing Destiny

When the reigning Tennō (emperor) was preparing for his enthronement, he saw himself in a mirror and beheld no himself but the deity Amateratsu, just as he held the Chronicles of Japan in his hands - some of the oldest texts in the Japanese language.

Ragnarok (2020/2020) by PhilalethesRoyal Bridges

Ragnarök

Baldr resurrects after Ragnarök in the island of Socotra, and stands nude before a dragon blood tree that represents Yggdrasil. The crow in the horizon represents the rebirth, and the bridge with the bygone world.

Restaurator templorum (2022/2022) by PhilalethesRoyal Bridges

Julian, restaurator templorum

Julian, the last non-Christian ruler of the Western Roman Empire, was ironically also the last scion of the Constantinian dynasty, that legalised Christianity within the defunct empire.

Julian, restaurator templorum

During his proclamation as Augustus in the year 361, some chroniclers described an eagle coming down from the heavens and standing beside Julian; the latter sign was deemed as the approval of Jupiter of his policies meant to restore temples throughout the empire.

Julian, restaurator templorum

In order to counteract Christianity, he favoured Judaism (the star of David on his clothing), the Egyptian gods (represented by Horus’ headwear worn by the eagle) as well as the gods of the Germanic peoples (represented by the rainbow, the Bifröst).

Cuatlicue (2022/2022) by PhilalethesRoyal Bridges

Cuatlicue misses her children

The Mexica mother goddess became rather sorrowful after most of her children were slain from the hands of her warrior son, Huitzilopochtli. Cuatlicue became pregnant through a divine feather yet her children thought she had brought shame upon them.

Cuatlicue (2022/2022) by PhilalethesRoyal Bridges

Cuatlicue misses her children

Her children turned against her for allegedly having brought shame upon the family through Cuatlicue’s immaculate pregnancy that begot Huitzilopochtli. The latter was born fully armoured.

Cuetlicue remains mournful of her missing children, and above all of their betrayal.

MargretheII (2022/2022) by PhilalethesRoyal Bridges

Margrethe II's daisies

Margrethe II is goes by the sobriquet ‘Daisy’, a nickname she owes to her maternal grandmother, Margaret of Connaught, Crown Princess of Sweden by her marriage to Gustaf VI Adolf, before the latter became monarch.

Margrethe II's daisies

People know Margrethe I, who unified all Nordic countries under her sceptre yet older is Estrid ‘Margrethe’ Svendsdatter who was titled ‘Queen’ during the reign of her son, Sweyn II Estridson. He loaned her name for the House of Estridsen, that ruled Denmark from 1047 to 1412.

Margrethe II's daisies

Even less known is that Estrid Margrethe was likely the founder of Roskilde Cathedral, the burial site for Danish royalty up to our days. Estrid chose the place because it was already considered to be a holy ground in Viking times. Hence the Thor hammer on the church.

Margrethe II's daisies

Whilst holding a daisy, Margrethe II points out to an aged Odin, or it is Gorm the Old? Holding Dannebrog that allegedly was granted to King Valdemar II the Victorious directly from heaven. The painting was thought out during Margrethe II’s 50th anniversary on the throne (2022).

Iguana (2023/2023) by PhilalethesRoyal Bridges

Farewell, holy iguana

Perekule VII ruled the Kingdom of Bonny in today’s Nigeria. He inherited the throne from his father on 30 September 1866.

Farewell, holy iguana

In 1867, supported by many Manilla Pepple chieftains,  Perekule VII introduced Christianity, and dismissed the iguana as the realm’s holy animal. Hence the iguana bids farewell on this picture by mounting on a cloud, and faring away. 

Credits: Story

This exhibition was set up by Philalethes, an artist who specialises in myths, royalty and the manner wherein they intertwine to shape up human imagination, and create potent narratives that are followed by the masses.

Special thanks to Dr. Robert Suzic & Fiona Passantino from 'The Big Myth' for their kind support.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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