School Project

For this Project, I decided to go with a Greek/Roman Mythology theme. I'm currently taking a class in classical Mythology and I am very fascinated by the subject matter. I decided to find works that related to what I have learned in both classes.

This piece of artwork I relate to with the classical Greek Mythology of Heracles and his 12 Labors that he was sent to do by the goddess Hera in order to be granted his immortality. Heracles was a demi-god, son of Zeus and Alcmena. The Hydra was his second task in the first 6 labors. Heracle's challenge is this task was to kill the Hydra. But when he cut off one head 2 grew back in its place. He actually had help with this task. Heracles would cut off the heads to hydra while his nephew, Iolaus, would cauterized the stumps where the heads used to be. I think this piece as a great depiction of that task. The artist's use of color is great.
In this piece it reminds me of the tale of Heracles's marriage to Deianira. Heracles had to fulfill his promise to Meleager (who he saw in the Underworld) to marriage sister, Deianira. But to win her Heracles had to wrestle with the river god Achelous who was horned like a bull and had the power of changing himself into different shapes. I like this piece, because there are so many bright colors, and it shows the myth side of the painting.
This artwork goes along with the myth I'm sure everyone has heard about. The Birth of Venus (Aphrodite) is that she was born from the castration of Uranus and sea foam. While there are other myths of her birth, the myth of her birth from Uranus's genitals and sea foam is the most popular. I have always loved this piece since I saw it in numerous textbooks. The artist did a beautiful job in creating this myth in painting.
This piece reminds of all is all started between Cupid and Psyche. Psyche, being a beautiful princess that Cupid was sent to destroy but in stead he falls in love with her. It is this painting that I believe was painted in the event that Cupid was suppose to go and destroy but got hit by one of his own arrows and so that's how he fell in love with her. I really like the colored used in this one. I also like that you get that close up perspective of the scene with Cupid trying to sneak up on Psyche while she sleeps. Even though he fails to destroy Psyche.
I look at this piece as a family portrait almost. The people in this painting are Apollo and his twin sister Artemis (Diana). They are the children of Zeus & Leto. This painting kind of shows them in their element (at least Diana). The coloring is a little darker than I imagined but then again the sky does look a little darker like maybe it is becoming night time.
This painting depicts the Rape of Europa quite well. The myth goes that Zeus, enamored, turns himself into a white bull and hides himself within her father's flock. While Europa gathers flowers, she is eventually drawn to the white bull, starts, petting him, and eventually climbs on his back. Zeus abducts her and swims with her on his back across the sea to Crete, where he reveals himself. She is made queen of Crete and has 2 children. I like this painting because while I don't know what is going on with the many people in the painting I know that the woman sitting on the white bull is Europa and the white bull is Zeus in disguise. I like the coloring in this piece.The artist depicts the scene up close but you can see other people and animals on the left hand side of the piece.
Neptune (aka Poseidon) and his wife Amphitrite. Amphitrite is the sister of Thetis, and her relationship with Neptune is very similar to Zeus & Hera, filled with Adultery & jealousy, but they did have a son, Triton who was a merman and a shape-shifter. While I preferred that they were clothed a little bit, I know that is just the way of the Greek/Roman gods. I like this piece because of all the neutral tones within the piece. It also seems like this piece would be a family portrait in their "home" where ever that may be. I also like that they have Neptune holding his weapon of choice, the Trident.
This is a painting depicting the myth of Zeus and Leda. Leda being the wife of Tyndareous, King of Sparta. Zeus liked her and wanted to be with her, so he came to her in the form of a swan in the same night that she slept with her husband. She laid eggs with two sets of twins. One egg held the boys and the other egg held the girls. She had 4 children altogether. Helen and Polydeuces were Zeus's children. I really like how these paintings and these artist are depicting the classical Greek/Roman mythology in their paintings. A good way to immortalize something forever.
This piece portrays how Actaeon sees Artemis (a virgin goddess) bathing with her nymphs while he is out hunting with his men and dogs. Diana blushes, then says "Now you may tell how you saw me naked - if you can tell!" With that she turns him into a stag which lives 9 times longer than humans. After a while his own hunting dogs come after him and he is torn to shreds and dies. While the painting doesn't show what happens to him afterwards, I like that is shows him finding Artemis (Diana) and it shows what the scene might look like if the artist had seen it himself.
Bacchus (Dionysus) and his wife Ariadne in what seems to be in one of his Bacchic frenzies in which they just have a good time with dancing, wine, and usually sex is involved. I don't see any satyrs in this piece so I will assume that all the other women in this painting are his maenads (female followers). This could also be a painting of Euripides' version of a Bacchae, as I just noticed what looks like a mountainside on the right of this painting. A quote from Euripides Bacchae says it best: "I have heard of the new evils that beset the city; the women... gad about on the dark mountainside honoring by their dance the new gods, Dionysus (Bacchus), whoever he is. Bowls full of wine stand in the midst of each group, and they sneak away one by one to solitary places where they satisfy the lust of males. Their pretext is that they are Maenad priestesses, but they put Aphrodite ahead of Bacchus."
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