Cecilio Plá y Gallardo; Brunilda and Wotan (The Valkyrie) 01 Paintings from Norse mythology, with footnotes – #3

Brunilda
Cecilio Plá y Gallardo (22 November 1860 – 4 August 1934)
Brunilda and Wotan (The Valkyrie), c. 1900
Oil on canvas
77.5 x 109 cm
Private collection

In Norse mythology the Valkyries are ‘choosers of the slain,’ and they are the daughters of
Wotan or Odin.

Brunhilde who is Wotan’s favourite, defies Odin and was punished by imprisonment within a ring of fire until a brave hero falls in love and rescues her. More on Brunilda and Wotan

Brunhild, also known as Brunhilda or Brynhild, is a powerful female figure from Germanic heroic legends. She may have her origins in the Visigothic princess Brunhilda of Austrasia.

In the Norse tradition, Brunhild is a shieldmaiden or valkyrie, who appears as a main character in the Völsunga saga and some Eddic poems treating the same events. In the continental Germanic tradition, where she is a central character in the Nibelungenlied, she is a powerful Amazon-like queen. In both traditions, she is instrumental in bringing about the death of the hero Sigurd or Siegfried after he deceives her into marrying the Burgundian king Gunther or Gunnar. In both traditions, the immediate cause for her desire to have Sigurd murdered is a quarrel with the hero’s wife. More on Brunilda

Wōtan is the Old High German name of the Germanic god Odin; a widely revered god in Germanic mythology. In Norse mythology, from which stems most surviving information about the god, Odin is associated with wisdom, healing, death, royalty, the gallows, knowledge, war, battle, victory, sorcery, poetry, frenzy, and the runic alphabet, and is the husband of the goddess Frigg.

Odin was known in Old English as Wōden, in Old Saxon as Wōdan, and in Old High German as Wuotan. More on Odin

Cecilio Plá y Gallardo (22 November 1860 – 4 August 1934) was a Spanish painter and illustrator, born in Valencia. As a child, he studied music at the Escuela de Artesanos de Valencia, in accordance with the wishes of his father. Later, he followed his own desires to be an artist and continued his studies at the Instituto San Pablo and the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Carlos. After winning a Silver Medal at the Exposición de Valencia in 1879, he moved to Madrid with a friend, where he entered the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, becoming a student of Emilio Sala.


The following year, after travelling through Portugal, France and Italy, he settled in Rome. From there, he sent home numerous works which showed the influence of Marià Fortuny. Some were shown at the National Exhibition of Fine Arts, winning medals in 1884 and 1887 for paintings on Italian subjects. He received many more medals.

In 1910, he began his career as a teacher at the Academy of San Fernando, a position he held until his retirement in 1931. He was named an Academician in 1924. His dedication to teaching drastically reduced his artistic output.

He died in Madrid, aged 73. More on Cecilio Plá y Gallardo

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Edward Dwurnik, Leda 01 Work, Contemporary Interpretations of Olympian deities, with footnotes #27

Edward Dwurnik (1943 - 2018)
Edward Dwurnik, (1943 – 2018)
Leda, c. 1991
Oil on canvas
147 x 114 cm
Private collection

Leda, in Greek legend, usually believed to be the daughter of Thestius, king of Aetolia, and wife of Tyndareus, king of Lacedaemon. She was also believed to have been the mother (by Zeus, who had approached and seduced her in the form of a swan) of the other twin, Pollux, and of Helen, both of whom hatched from eggs. Variant legends gave divine parentage to both the twins and possibly also to Clytemnestra, with all three of them having hatched from the eggs of Leda, while yet other legends say that Leda bore the twins to her mortal husband, Tyndareus. Still other variants say that Leda may have hatched out Helen from an egg laid by the goddess Nemesis, who was similarly approached by Zeus in the form of a swan.The divine swan’s encounter with Leda was a subject depicted by both ancient Greek and Italian Renaissance artists; Leonardo da Vinci undertook a painting (now lost) of the theme, and Correggio’s Leda (c. 1530s) is a well-known treatment of the subject. More Leda and The Swan

 

Edward Dwurnik (born April 19, 1943 in Radzymin , died October 28, 2018 in Warsaw) – was a Polish painter and graphic artist.

From 1963-1970 Edward Dwurnik studied painting, sculpture and graphics at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. During the first years at the Academy, he thought,  “did not have any vision of his work”. After encountering the works of Bernard, Buffett saw new possibilities for painting, but it was only after Nikifor’s experience in 1965 that he helped him find a form that would support his own ideas.  An artistic solution, in terms of this problem, was to build multi-element compositions, complications, and create relationships between objects of the image. He painted over 5000 paintings. Dwurnik regularly presented his paintings depicting the capitals of various European Union countries during the Presidency of the European Union held at the Chojnata Palace in Wola Chojnata.

He was awarded, among others, with the “Solidarity” Cultural Award ( 1983 ), Nouvelle Biennale de Paris ( 1985 ), the Seoul Olympics Award in 1988 ( 1988 ) and the Award of the Contemporary Art Foundation ( 1992 ). More on Edward Dwurnik





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William Oxer FRSA, Blest Pair Of Sirens 01 Work, Contemporary Interpretations of Olympian deities, with footnotes #25

Blest Pair Of Sirens
William Oxer FRSA, United Kingdom
Blest Pair Of Sirens
Acrylic on Canvas
16 W x 11 H x 1 in
Private collection

According to Greek myths, sirens were powerful and erotic creatures, and many unsuspecting sailors would fall prey to their seductive beauty. The common belief was that they would devour sailors after their ships would crash into the rocks, as most men couldn’t resist the temptation of their sweet melodies and angelic faces. More on The Fisherman and The Siren

William Oxer travelled widely through Europe, a Grand Tour as a fair swap for his driving skills. After graduating, William was offered a place at the Prince of Wales’ Institute of Architecture but was advised by them to take the position of assistant to Alec Cobbe, artist, restorer and collector.

Living in at Hatchlands Park, Surrey. He lived at the latter back in 1996, working with restorer and interiors expert, Alec Cobbe.

Over the past 25 years, William has undertaken regular portrait commissions for private clients and produced artworks for exhibitions and collectors across the world. His work also includes period decoration and exhibition design in places such as Christie’s and the Building of Bath Museum, also known as The Museum of Bath Architecture. More on William Oxer

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John Roddam Spencer Stanhope, ANDROMEDA 01 Painting, Olympian deities, by the Old Masters, with footnotes #41

John Roddam Spencer Stanhope
John Roddam Spencer Stanhope, 1829-1908
ANDROMEDA
Oil on canvas
127 by 53cm., 50 by 21in.
Private collection

Andromeda is the daughter of the Aethiopian king Cepheus and his wife Cassiopeia. When Cassiopeia’s hubris leads her to boast that Andromeda is more beautiful than the Nereids, Poseidon sends a sea monster, Cetus, to ravage Aethiopia as divine punishment. Andromeda is stripped and chained naked to a rock as a sacrifice to sate the monster, but is saved from death by Perseus.

As a subject, Andromeda has been popular in art since classical times; it is one of several Greek myths of a Greek hero’s rescue of the intended victim of an archaic hieros gamos, giving rise to the “princess and dragon” motif. From the Renaissance, interest revived in the original story, typically as derived from Ovid’s account. More on Andromeda

John Roddam Spencer Stanhope (20 January 1829 — 2 August 1908) is an English artist associated with Edward Burne-Jones and George Frederic Watts and often regarded as a second-wave pre-Raphaelite. His work is also studied within the context of Aestheticism and British Symbolism. As a painter, Stanhope worked in oil, watercolor, fresco, and mixed media. His subject matter was mythological, allegorical, biblical, and contemporary. Stanhope was born in Yorkshire, England, and died in Florence, Italy. He was the uncle and teacher of the painter Evelyn De Morgan. More on John Roddam Spencer Stanhope

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Richard Ziegler; Judgment of Paris, 01 Work, Contemporary Interpretations of Olympian deities, with footnotes #24

Richard Ziegler (1891 - 1992)
Richard Ziegler (1891 – 1992)
Judgment of Paris, c. 1929
Oil on canvas
148.5 x 203 cm.
Private collection

The influence of the art of Italy and especially of the Renaissance can also be seen in this work. Thus, the frieze-like structure and the detailed representation of the vegetation to Paolo Uccello reminiscent, while Sandro Botticelli’s painting with the same subject Paris also on the right sitting on a stone with the golden apple in his hand. The high cheekbones and the thin lips of Paris in the present work, however, suggest a self-portrait of the artist who has to choose between three beauties, blonde, brunette or black-haired. According to Cornelia Ziegler, daughter of the artist. More on this painting

THE JUDGEMENT OF PARIS was a contest between the three most beautiful goddesses of Olympos–Aphrodite, Hera and Athena–for the prize of a golden apple addressed “To the Fairest.”

 

The story began with the wedding of Peleus and Thetis which all the gods had been invited to attend except for Eris, goddess of discord. When Eris appeared at the festivities she was turned away and in her anger cast the golden apple amongst the assembled goddesses addressed “To the Fairest.” Three goddesses laid claim to the apple–Aphrodite, Hera and Athena. Zeus was asked to mediate and he commanded Hermes to lead the three goddesses to Paris of Troy to decide the issue. The three goddesses appearing before the shepherd prince, each offering him gifts for favour. He chose Aphrodite, swayed by her promise to bestow upon him Helene, the most beautiful woman, for wife. The subsequent abduction of Helene led directly to the Trojan War and the fall of the city. More on the THE JUDGEMENT OF PARIS


Richard Ziegler was born on May 3, 1891 in Pforzheim. After he attended the Gymnasium, Ziegler went to Great Britain for a year. On his return, he studied philology in Geneva, Greifswald, and Heidelberg, where he received his doctorate in 1919. Though he began painting as a child, art played no deciding role in his studies. 

After his studies though, he decided to become a painter. In the following years, Richard Ziegler produced book illustrations, woodcuts, and oil paintings. In 1925, he settled in Berlin as a professional artist, but after the Nazis came to power in 1933, he left Germany. 

Until 1937, Ziegler lived on the island of Korcula in Croatia. There he produced three series of monotypes, in which he dealt with the political events in Germany. From 1937 until the end of the war, he lived in England. In 1963, Richard Ziegler went to Spain to live on the island of Mallorca. His late expressive-realistic work was produced there. Richard Ziegler spent his last years in his hometown of Pforzheim. 

He died there on February 23, 1992, at the age of 101. More on Richard Ziegler





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Peter Paul Rubens, The Calydonian boar hunt 01 Painting, Olympian deities, by the artists of their time, with footnotes #42

Peter_Paul_Rubens_-_La_Chasse_au_sanglier
Peter Paul Rubens, (1577–1640)
La Chasse au sanglier, The Calydonian boar hunt, between circa 1615 and circa 1616
Oil on canvas
Height: 250 cm (98.4 ″); Width: 320 cm (10.4 ft)
Musée des beaux-arts de Marseille

The Calydonian or Aetolian Boar is one of the monsters of Greek mythology that had to be overcome by heroes of the Olympian age. Sent by Artemis to ravage the region of Calydon in Aetolia because its king failed to honour her in his rites to the gods, it was killed in the Calydonian Hunt, in which many male heroes took part, but also a powerful woman, Atalanta, who won its hide by first wounding it with an arrow. This outraged some of the men, with tragic results. Strabo was under the impression that the Calydonian Boar was an offspring of the Crommyonian Sow vanquished by Theseus. More on the Calydonian boar hunt

Sir Peter Paul Rubens (28 June 1577 – 30 May 1640) was a Flemish Baroque painter. A proponent of an extravagant Baroque style that emphasized movement, colour, and sensuality, Rubens is well known for his Counter-Reformation altarpieces, portraits, landscapes, and history paintings of mythological and allegorical subjects.

In addition to running a large studio in Antwerp that produced paintings popular with nobility and art collectors throughout Europe, Rubens was a classically educated humanist scholar and diplomat who was knighted by both Philip IV of Spain and Charles I of England.  More Sir Peter Paul Rubens





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Elizabeth Lennie, Tethys 01 Painting, Modern Interpretation of Olympian deities, with footnotes #41

Elizabeth Lennie
Elizabeth Lennie, Canada
Tethys
Oil on canvas
32 W x 48 H x 1.5 in
Private collection

In Greek mythology, Tethys was one of the Titan offspring of Uranus (Sky) and Gaia (Earth). Tethys played no active part in Greek mythology, the only early story concerning Tethys, is what Homer has Hera briefly relate in the Iliad’s Deception of Zeus passage. Hera says that, when Zeus was in the process of deposing Cronus, she was given by her mother Rhea to Tethys and Oceanus, for safekeeping, and that they “lovingly nursed and cherished me in their halls”.

At a later time Tethys came to be identified with the sea, and in Hellenistic and Roman poetry Tethys’ name came to be used as a poetic term for the sea.

  1. L. West detects in the Iliad’s Deception of Zeus passage an allusion to a possible archaic myth “according to which Tethys was the mother of the gods, long estranged from her husband,” speculating that the estrangement might refer to a separation of “the upper and lower waters … corresponding to that of heaven and earth.”More on Tethys

Elizabeth Lennie: “Water has been the backdrop to the significant events in my life. I work with oil paint on canvas, layering thin washes with thicker impasto. The images are often figurative and explore the memory myth of summer. The paintings are a map of my world, in both abstract and narrative form. By isolating and extracting vibrant colors in a signature soft-focus style, the memory myth of summer is explored and journaled in a series of liquid landscapes on canvas. I live in Toronto, Canada, and work both as a commercial voice-over narrator and visual artist. My work is collected world-wide and I am honored to be included in the Canadian Hockey Hall of Fame art collection as well as Centre Hospital, S.F. and the UVA Medical Centre: More on Elizabeth Lennie

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Follower of Pietro da Cortona; A Roman Carrying a Sabine Woman 01 Painting, Olympian deities, by the Old Masters, with footnotes #42

Follower of Pietro da Cortona
Follower of Pietro da Cortona
A Roman Carrying a Sabine Woman
Oil on canvas
88 x 41 1/4 inches (223.5 x 104.7 cm)
Private collection

Rape of the Sabine Women is the common name of an incident from Roman mythology, in which the men of Rome committed a mass abduction of young women from the other cities in the region. It has been a frequent subject of artists, particularly during the Renaissance and post-Renaissance eras.

Use of the word “rape” comes from the conventional translation of the Latin word used in the ancient accounts of the incident: raptio. Modern scholars tend to interpret the word as “abduction” as opposed to (sexual) violation. Controversy remains, however, as to how the acts committed against the women should be judged.

The Rape occurred in the early history of Rome, shortly after its founding by Romulus and his mostly male followers. Seeking wives in order to establish families, the Romans negotiated unsuccessfully with the Sabines, who populated the surrounding area. The Sabines feared the emergence of a rival society and refused to allow their women to marry the Romans. Consequently, the Romans planned to abduct Sabine women during a festival of Neptune Equester. They planned and announced a marvelous festival to attract people from all nearby towns. According to Livy, many people from Rome’s neighboring towns attended, including folk from the Caeninenses, Crustumini, and Antemnates, and many of the Sabines. At the festival, Romulus gave a signal, at which the Romans grabbed the Sabine women and fought off the Sabine men. The indignant abductees were soon implored by Romulus to accept Roman husbands. More on Rape of the Sabine Women

Pietro da Cortona (1 November 1596/7 – 16 May 1669) was born Pietro Berrettini, but is primarily known by the name of his native town of Cortona in Tuscany. He was the leading Italian Baroque painter of his time and, along with his contemporaries and rivals Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Francesco Borromini, was one of the key figures in the emergence of Roman Baroque architecture. He was also an important designer of interior decorations.

Cortona worked mainly in Rome and Florence. He is best known for his frescoed ceilings such as the vault of the salone or main salon of the Palazzo Barberini in Rome and carried out extensive painting and decorative schemes for the Medici family in Florence and for the Oratorian fathers at the church of Santa Maria in Vallicella in Rome. He also painted numerous canvases. Only a limited number of his architectural projects were built but nonetheless they are as distinctive and as inventive as those of his rivals. More on Pietro da Cortona

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Anatolij Brusilovski, Europa? 01 Work, Contemporary Interpretations of Olympian deities, with footnotes #22

Anatolij Brusilovski (1932 - )
Anatolij Brusilovski (1932 – )
Untitled 1978 (Europa?)
Original ink and aerosal paint on paper
64 x 86cm
Private collection

In Greek mythology Europa was the mother of King Minos of Crete, a woman with Phoenician origin of high lineage, and for whom the continent Europe was named. The story of her abduction by Zeus in the form of a white bull was a Cretan story; as classicist Károly Kerényi points out, “most of the love-stories concerning Zeus originated from more ancient tales describing his marriages with goddesses. This can especially be said of the story of Europa”.

The mythographers tell that Zeus was enamored of Europa and decided to seduce or ravish her. He transformed himself into a tame white bull and mixed in with her father’s herds. While Europa and her helpers were gathering flowers, she saw the bull, caressed his flanks, and eventually got onto his back. Zeus took that opportunity and ran to the sea and swam, with her on his back, to the island of Crete. He then revealed his true identity, and Europa became the first queen of Crete. More on Europa

Anatoly Brusilovsky was born in the family of Rafail Brusilovsky in Odessa in 1932. A graduate of the Kharkov School of Art, his first book illustrations were published in 1953.

In 1957, Brusilovsky took part in the exhibition of young artists held in Moscow as part of the VI International Festival of Young People and Students. In 1960, he moved to Moscow and joined the nonconformist movement.

Brusilovsky became a popular book illustrator in the early 1960s. He collaborated with many journals, and his drawings for Nedelia, Sputnik and Jounost enjoyed great success, particularly with younger readers.

The human bestiary encountered in Brusilovsky’s figurative works is somewhat at odds with his narrative talent. An excellent example is his Human Pantomime cycle.

Brusilovsky’s collages and drawings were often banned by the Soviet art authorities, on account of their absurdist and erotic nature. A special and unreal world arises out of his collages, particularly those that could not be exhibited for many years. Such works well reflect the artist’s ability to score a powerful and direct hit with his art.

Anatoly Brusilovsky currently lives in Cologne. More on Anatoly Brusilovsky

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Ellie Hesse, AMAZON I 01 Painting, Olympian deities, with footnotes #40

AMAZON I
Ellie Hesse, United Kingdom
AMAZON I
Acrylic, Gesso, Gouache, Ink, Oil on Wood
39.4 W x 39.4 H x 1.6 in
Private collection

There is something truly astounding about the way a horse can be transformed from a calm and seemingly domesticated creature, one moment, into an explosion of power and wired emotion, the next. I find this unpredictability and expressiveness, fascinating and a great inspiration in my work. Historical representations of the equine form are another major source of inspiration for me and am particularly interested in the symbolic, mythological and sacred place the horse has held, throughout history.’ Ellie Hesse

In Greek mythology, the Amazons were a race of woman warriors.

The legendary Amazons were thought to have lived in Pontus, which is part of modern-day Turkey near the southern shore of the Black Sea. There they formed an independent kingdom under the government of a queen named Hippolyta or Hippolyte. This area is known to have been occupied in the Late Bronze Age by a transhumant group known to the Hittites as the Kaŝka; though they were not directly known to Greeks, modern archaeologists have determined that they finally defeated their enemies, the Hittites, about 1200 BC. According to Plutarch, the Amazons lived in and about the Don river, which the Greeks called the Tanais; but which was called by the Scythians the “Amazon”. The Amazons later moved to Terme on the River Thermodon, northern Turkey. More on the Amazons

Ellie Hesse was born in New York in 1972 but spent most of her childhood in the Yorkshire Dales. Travel has always been an important feature of her life since then, exploring Asia and South America, as well as living and working in a number of different European countries.

Entirely self-taught, Ellie is mainly known for her vibrantly coloured townscapes, though in recent years, she has gone on to develop her art to include more figurative work, focusing on the horse in particular. Ellie uses a variety of different media and techniques, depending on the subject matter. The palette knife is her tool of preference for building up layers of texture and depth of colour.

By working intermittently on two very different subjects, Ellie has found that the two approaches seem to cross-pollinate. The looser drawing style of the equine work, feeding into the more structural work of townscapes, bringing new vitality into the painting style as well as composition, with the introduction of figures and animals. The creative tension that arises from contrasting solid, architectural forms with the fluidity of a natural and dynamic subject, creates a certain energy, keeping the painting process always fresh and exciting.. More on Ellie Hesse

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