Love & Mythology in Contrast: paintings and sculptures focused on contrast and love in Mythology. 

The sculpture done by James Anderson displays the chase of love. Apollo has been struck by Cupid’s love arrow and has set his eyes upon Daphne, a nymph. Once Apollo has been able to reach Daphne, she has called out for help from her father. In this sculpture you see Daphne transforming into a tree to escape the hold of Apollo, and if you look closely he isn’t physically touching her, but has grasped the tree. The emphasis used in Daphne’s finger tips draws the viewer to see her morphing into a tree. Anderson captures movement in this sculpture with Apollo’s cloth draping in the wind, and Daphne’s hair flying up while trying to escape the grasp of Apollo’s touch.
Telemachus is on a journey to find his father, but on his journey he has fallen in love with Eucharis, a nymph. In this painting by Jacques-Louis David, Telemachus has to leave Eucharis to continue his journey in search of his father. Eucharis' arms are casting shadows over Telemachus displaying the use light in the painting. The flow of their clothing, and bending of Eucharis shows we have captured the moment right before he leaves. David uses balance and symmetry to hold the couple together even though they are both about to part ways. The painting would be incomplete without one or the other. Telemachus leans back to support Eucharis and she bends onto him creating unity. Telemachus puts his hand on her thigh and one on his spear to provide balance.
In this painting Cupid has discovered his lover Pysche in a deep sleep that was caused by her curiosity and Venus. Cupid is about to shoot his love with an arrow to wake her up from her sleep. Alphonse Legros painted this image contrasting Pysche’s body against the bushes in the scenery. In the depth of the photo you can see further back across a body of water creating proportion to this photo. The movement of Cupid’s hand to grab an arrow to shoot his lover with also helps tell the story. Legros uses lines in this painting of Pyshe’s body to draw the viewer’s eyes onto her and then back to her lover, Cupid.
The painting done by Pierre shows Jupiter who has transformed into a bull taking Europa into the sea. Jupiter has fallen for this young maiden and has taken form of an animal to seduce her to come away with her. Zeus is also represented in this image as the eagle holding a lightning bolt. There is slight contrast of light used in this painting to show and draw your attention onto Europa, and darker contrast to show Zeus in this image as an eagle with clouds below him. The dynamic in this photo creates movement of the water flowing as Jupiter takes Europa in the sea, as well as the clouds moving below Zeus. The three angels above also have a lot of movement in their actions: carrying flowers and flying above clouds.
In this painting from Jean Raoux, Orpheus takes Eurydice, his wife away from Hades after playing the violin. Pluto and Proserpine are looking down at Orpheus and Eurydice after they leave Hades, and you also have the three fates in this painting as well on the left. This painting is filled with mythology as well as strong contrast to show the surroundings or lack there of in Hades. Raoux uses proportion by painting others in the distance to show the depth of the image. The use of light enhances the emotion of joy on Orpheus and uncertainty on Eurydice, and you can see the movement of them leaving due to Eurydice’s dress and Orpheus carrying his violin.
In this painting Sandro Botticelli, shows the birth of Venus from the sea. The sea is covered with lines creating movement, drawing attraction to Venus. There is some depth of perception in the painting with the horizon and shoreline behind Venus, however all four characters seem to be side by side. The couple to the left is blowing Venus to the shore and we can see this due to the lines of air coming from their mouths. Botticelli creates some contrast from the sea to the shell, and then the ground from which the lady about to cover Venus is standing on.
Pluto has come back from the underworld to take Proserpine with him in the painting by Alessandro Allori. In the bottom right of the painting you can see the chariot that awaits Pluto and Proserpine to take them to the underworld. There is such a strong use of contrast in this painting Proserpine is bright and has the look of distraught and discomfort in her face. The darken contrast down below, the horses almost blend into the darkness. Proserpine almost represents the light as Pluto and the bottom of the picture represents the darkness of the underworld.
Winged Cupids, Nymphs, and women celebrate and decorate a statue of Venus to help celebrate/pay tribute to the power of love in this painting by Peter Paul Rubens. The contrast between the statue and the celebration brings the light and power she is giving to the party. The statue of Venus is dark in comparison to the rest of the painting. The movement between the celebration is very realistic; dancing, kissing, and flying. Also Rubens use of line: smooth and round creates a soft and enjoyable experience of the painting.
In this painting Zeus has transformed himself into a white bull to take Europa. In this painting by Paolo Veronese cupid is also engaging with Zeus by tying flowers over his head, and Zeus is comforting Europa by licking her foot. The proportion of the people down below on the left shows the depth of the image. There is plenty of movement in this painting for the departure Europa is about to take. The light shinning on Europa contrasts with the rest of the painting make her the subject of this painting, even though there is so much detail happening.
The sculpture from Cheere shows Pluto taking Proserpina against her will back down to the underworld. Proserpina throws her arms in the air to fight the abduction that is taking place, but she is no match for Pluto. The movement of her arms, and Pluto stepping forward shows the action of the two characters. Pluto is taking Proserpina against her own will, he has the look of determination as she is contrasting/counteracting by trying to escape his hold.
Credits: All media
This user gallery has 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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