Oil on Canvas: The Heroic + The Immortal - Julio Guzman

The following gallery focuses on paintings that capture stories about gods, goddesses and/or heroes found in Greek mythology. The exclusive medium is "oil on canvas".

As the name suggests, this painting portrays a merciless Apollo and Diana, both Greek gods, punishing a woman named Niobe by assassinating all of her children. The two gods are in the background, up in the clouds, painted in a dreamy-like silver that contrasts greatly against the golden skin tone of the mortals. The devastated Niobe is in the center begging for the gods to stop shooting arrows while her children, who lay dead at her feet, are posed and viewed in unique angles, adding to the melodramatic feel of the piece.
Perseus, one of the most well-known heroes in Greek Mythology, is the main focus here as he turns his enemies into stone with the chopped head of the Gorgon, Medusa. The way the characters are posed gives us a sense of movement. They are all frozen in mid-fall or with hands and legs outstretched. Perseus's red attire also contrasts with the duller background colors, making our eyes land on him first before exploring the elements around him.
The following piece portrays Europa being taken away from Tyre by a bull who is actually Zeus in disguise. Europa is partially undressed with a gold piece of her clothing abandoned on the ground. The overall coloring of the piece is rather dull. There's a sense of obscurity due to the blurriness. However the piece manages to still be interesting with its great attention to detail. The gold designs in Europa's dress, especially, seem to draw attention to the main character.
Basically a beauty pageant, "The Judgement of Paris" portrays three beautiful godesses battling for the golden apple; a prize that goes out to the "most beautiful". The judge is Paris who is the man clothed in red, sitting down. Just like my last selection, the background colors in this piece are dark, possibly due to its age, but the reds, blues, purples and pinks of the Gods' attire adds life to the piece. The curved lines in the material of the drapery also gives it an illusion of movement and flow, making the piece all the more realistic.
This piece focuses on the tragic death of Hyacinthus; Apollo's mortal lover. Apollo stands with a shocked expression over the younger man's unmoving body as a creepy statue of Pan smirks down upon them. The way Apollo is posed does not only display emotion but also movement. There is also a "spotlight" over Apollo and Hyacinthus while the rest of the civilians behind them are covered partially or completely in shade.
This piece sees Zeus once again shape-shifting into an animal (this time an eagle) in order to kidnap Ganymede. The blending of colors, especially in the landscape in the background, are very realistic with perfect color transitions. The colors on Ganymede, the eagle and the dog are more solid yet offer the same technique of blending different shades of similar colors to create the illusion of lighting.
This melancholoy piece is an odd one. It portrays Orpheus, a poet in Greek mythology that got torn to shreds by wild beasts named Maenads. An unknown girl picks up his head and stares into it. The dark green colors give the piece a mystical, twilight tone. There's also a sense of balance with the musicians in the top right and the hard-to-miss turtles in the lower left.
Although she goes by the Roman name "Venus" in this particular work, the story of Aphrodite is still the same. Here you see her wringing her hair after washing up to shore in the scallop shell she was born in. You can see the empty shell floating behind her (or next to her?) in the waters. The goddess's body takes up majority of the painting, making it the focal point. The texture of her hair and the texture of the scallop shell give the work a sense of realism.
This oddly claustrophobic piece depicts Orpheus walking away from the underworld with his wife after enchanting Hades with his violin. All the figures here are arranged and placed in very specific places and poses, giving the piece a theatrical aura. There's movement, especially in the way that the lines in their attire curve, as if the wind is brushing up against the material. The yellow light seems to illuminate all the bodies, making them stand out even more from the dull, dark background.
This is Icarus's death after he flew too close to the sun with his wax wings. Nymphs surround him, mourning his unfortunate end. The shading of the wings makes it seem like the sunlight above is illuminating them. The iridescent glow is also apperant in the hills in the back and the orange tint seems to be blended in with the water.
Credits: All media
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