under the world bettys

This gallery will explore the highly varied interpretations of the underworld, especially through the eyes of Greek Mythology, through out history across different forms of media and styles. In this gallery have included Hermes traveling on the river Styx. Cerberus the guardian of the underworld. I also included The Fall of the Titans because of Kronos who resides in the deepest part of the underworld Tartarus. I wanted to show both the people and locations that are in the underworld.

This piece of pottery used to hold oil is from ancient Athens. This work depicts the messenger god Hermes on a boat on the river Styx which is the waterway that leads through the underworld. Although this piece seems simplistic, it is a great starting point for the gallery. Faded over time, but the image remains--leading you into the Underworld.
This amphora, made of terracotta with black figures, is a classic Greek piece depicting the hero Heracles along with Hermes who was helping him with one of his 12 tasks, this being capturing Cerberus. Cerberus, or the guardian of the Underworld, was a three headed dog that guarded the entrance to Hades' kingdom. This drinking vessel is painted in a common style, using pattern to draw the eyes to the figures which are shown in bold contrast to the lighter background.
This depiction, created in the Middle Ages, depicts the mouth of Hell, or the entrance to the Underworld, as the mouth of a beast. This miniature may not directly depict the Greek version as Hades' Kingdom, but still shows a very important part of art history--the Middle Ages. The use of mainly darker hued blues and greens for the outside of the mouth is typical for the time period, and the red-orange used for the mouth itself uses great contrast. Although described as a "miniature" the detail remains.
This depiction of the Greek gods and titans also shows the fall of Kronos, who was banished to Tartarus, the pit below Hell, for the rest of time. Painted between the Renaissance and Baroque period, the emphasis in this piece is on movement and expression. The bodies are shown in high contrast warm tones and the two standing figures on the side gesture inward, leading the eyes further within the piece.
Painted by the same artist in the same period of time as the last piece, this painting depicts Ixion falling into Tartarus after angering Zeus. Focusing on the human form and the expression, this piece shows the fear and agony being experienced. The skewed figure adds movement to the piece, and clearly shows the chaos and distress of Ixion during this fall. The use of dark reds, orange, and brown show the nature of Tartarus and the overall mood of the piece.
This lithography print shows Hercules completing his task of taking Cerberus, the three-headed dog guardian of the entrance to the Underworld. The motion in this etching is, once again, one of the overwhelming elements to this piece. Starting at the tail of Hercules' cloak and Cerberus' tail, moving through their figures to see the rest of the piece. The musculature depicted in the piece also shows a thorough understanding of human and beast's anatomy.
This piece in chalk and charcoal by Gandolfi depicts Orpheus and Eurydice on their way out of Hades' Kingdom. Because Orpheus is unable to follow the instructions given to him by Hades, Eurydice returns back to the pits of Hell. This drawing uses expression and motion through figures to create a finished piece, though it is a charcoal piece. The motion up from Eurydice's form up and through her figure to Orpheus' expression shows their struggle to escape.
This bust of Proserpine, or Persephone, is a very peaceful depiction of the queen of the Underworld. Kidnapped by Hades and held in the Underworld away from her family for half of the year, Persephone cultivated a garden in hell as she was the child of the goddess of the crops. The leaves shown at the bottom of this piece add texture to an otherwise overall flat piece, and add interest to the piece so there is not an abrupt end to the bust.
This charcoal piece shows a group of women on the banks of one of the rivers flowing through the Underworld, known for its qualities of forgetfulness. The figures in this piece shows turmoil and emotion within the figures. One of the ways this is clearly shown, other than the expressions of the women, is in the contrast of the piece. The contrast adds a dramatic tone to the piece overall.
Credits: All media
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