01 Work, Contemporary Interpretations of Hellenic legends with footnotes #29. Luigi Bonazza; EUROPA

Bonazza
EUROPA, 1908
Halftone on steel
Prints & Graphic Art
225x330mm. 353x498mm
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
Luigi Bonazza was born in 1877 in Arco, in the province of Trento. Between 1893 and 1897 he studied with Luigi Comel at the Elisabettina Royal School of Rovereto . In 1897 he moved to Vienna where he enrolled in the Kunstgewerbeschule . He studied painting with Felician von Myrbach and Franz von Matsch and came into contact with the secessions. In 1904 he won a competition for the creation of a poster for the Tridentine Alpinists Society.
In 1912 he returned to Trento where, together with other artists, he founded the Trentino Artistic Circle. Between 1914 and the 1940s he decorated his home, remodeling it according to Viennese artistic ideals. To avoid enlisting in the army of the Austro-Hungarian Empire he fled to Italy: between 1916 and 1918 he lived in Vizzola Ticino , near Milan . Here he works for Gianni Caproni making watercolors and engravings on flight. He returned to Trento in 1918 with the end of the First World War . Later he painted mainly landscapes and portraits . In 1925 he signed the Manifesto of Fascist intellectuals . Between 1932 and 1933 he decorated the Palazzo delle Poste in Trento . He lived for a period in Torbole sul Garda , but during the Second World War he remained in Trento despite the bombings until 1944 , when he moved to Bosentino . After the war he returned to Trento, but in the 1950s he had to stop painting due to a deterioration in his vision . He died in 1965. More on Luigi Bonazza

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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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02 carvings Of Olympian deities in classical Greek and Roman religion, Sculpture, #8

Jean-Jacques Feuchère, 1807 - 1852 Leda and the Swan
Jean-Jacques Feuchère, 1807 – 1852
Leda and the Swan
Silvered bronze and ormolu group
17 x 22 cm; 6 2/3 by 8 2/3 in
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…

 

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Tiziano Vecellio, Danae 01 Painting, Olympian deities, by the Old Masters, with footnotes #39

TIZIANO VECELLIO, CALLED TITIAN
After Tiziano Vecellio, called Titian, 17th Century
Danae
Oil on canvas
108 x 167.8cm (42 1/2 x 66 1/16in)
Private collection

Disappointed by his lack of male heirs, King Acrisius asked the oracle of Delphi if this would change. The oracle announced to him that he would never have a son, but his daughter would, and that he would be killed by his daughter’s son. At the time, Danae was childless and, meaning to keep her so, she was imprisoned in a tall brass tower with a single richly adorned chamber, but with no doors or windows, just a sky-light as the source of light and air). However, Zeus, the king of the gods, desired her, and came to her in the form of golden rain which streamed in through the roof of the subterranean chamber and down into her womb. Soon after, their child Perseus was born.

Unwilling to provoke the wrath of the gods or the Furies by killing his offspring and grandchild, King Acrisius cast Danaë and Perseus into the sea in a wooden chest. The sea was calmed by Poseidon and, at the request of Zeus, the pair survived. They were washed ashore on the island of Seriphos, where they were taken in by Dictys – the brother of King Polydectes – who raised Perseus to manhood. The King was charmed by Danaë, but she had no interest in him. Consequently, he agreed not to marry her only if her son would bring him the head of the Gorgon Medusa. Using Athena’s shield, Hermes’s winged sandals and Hades’ helmet of invisibility, Perseus was able to evade Medusa’s gaze and decapitate her.

Later, after Perseus brought back Medusa’s head and rescued Andromeda, the oracle’s prophecy came true. He started for Argos, but learning of the prophecy, instead went to Larissa, where athletic games were being held. By chance, an aging Acrisius was there and Perseus accidentally struck him on the head with his javelin (or discus), fulfilling the prophecy. More on Danaë

Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio, or Titian (1488/1490 – 27 August 1576), was an Italian painter, the most important member of the 16th-century Venetian school.

Recognized by his contemporaries as “The Sun Amidst Small Stars”, Titian was one of the most versatile of Italian painters, equally adept with portraits, landscape backgrounds, and mythological and religious subjects. His painting methods, particularly in the application and use of color, would exercise a profound influence not only on painters of the Italian Renaissance, but on future generations of Western art.

During the course of his long life, Titian’s artistic manner changed drastically but he retained a lifelong interest in color. Although his mature works may not contain the vivid, luminous tints of his early pieces, their loose brushwork and subtlety of tone are without precedent in the history of Western painting. More Titian

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Zena Holloway, Sea Selkie 01 Painting, and tales of Mermaids, with Footnotes, 10

Sea Selkie (2012)
Zena Holloway, United Kingdom
Sea Selkie, c. 2012
Photography
39.4 W x 44.1 H x 0.1 in
Private collection

In Scottish mythology, Selkies, meaning “Seal Folk” are mythological beings capable of therianthropy, changing from seal to human form by shedding their skin. They are found in folktales and mythology originating from Orkney and Shetland.

The folk-tales frequently revolve around female selkies being coerced into relationships with humans by someone stealing and hiding their sealskin, thus exhibiting the tale motif of the swan maiden type.

There are counterparts in Faroese and Icelandic folklore that speak of seal-women and seal-skin. In some instances the Irish mermaid (merrow) is regarded as a half-seal, half-human being. More on the Selkie

Zena Holloway (born 1973 in Bahrain) is an underwater photographic artist living in London. Her work deviates from the stereotypical imagery associated with underwater photography. For Holloway the underwater landscape serves as a backdrop, using cinematic drama and painterly aesthetics, she directs her models along themes of universal human experiences: love, loss, intimacy and romance. Her recent work Flowers for Jeju : The Last Mermaids focuses on the historical and spiritual tradition of the Haenyeo of South Korea. Alongside her dedication to long-term personal projects, she is a regular contributor to editorial, for publications such as The Sunday Times Magazine, Paris Match and the FT. Her work is exhibited globally and she has been the recipient of many international photographic and film awards. More on Zena Holloway

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Giambattista Pittoni, The Sacrifice of Polyxenia 01 Painting, Olympian deities, by the Old Masters, with footnotes #40

Polyxena
Circle of Giambattista Pittoni, (Venice 1687-1776)
The Sacrifice of Polyxenia
Oil on canvas
58.9 x 78.4cm (23 3/16 x 30 7/8in
Private collection

Polyxena, in Greek mythology, a daughter of Priam, king of Troy, and his wife, Hecuba. After the fall of Troy, she was claimed by the ghost of Achilles, the greatest of the Greek warriors, as his share of the spoils and was therefore put to death at his tomb. In post-Classical times the story was elaborated; it was said that a peace had been arranged and Achilles was to marry Polyxena, but Paris treacherously shot him. More on Polyxena

Giambattista Pittoni or Giovanni Battista Pittoni (6 June 1687 – 6 November 1767) was a Venetian painter of the late Baroque or Rococo period. He was among the founders of the Academy of Fine Arts of Venice , of which in 1758 he became the second president, succeeding Tiepolo.

Pittoni studied under his uncle Francesco Pittoni, a well-known but undistinguished painter of the Venetian Baroque.

Pittoni joined the Fraglia of the Venetian Painters, the Venetian guild of painters, in 1716. From, probably, the same year until his death he was a member of the College of Painters, of which he became prior in 1729.  He was elected to the Clementine Academy of Bologna in 1727. In 1750 he was one of the forty-six members of the Veneta Publish Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, which later became the Academy of Fine Arts of Venice ; from 1758 to 1760 he succeeded Tiepoloas president of the academy, and was elected for a second term in 1763–64. More on Giambattista Pittoni

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Giambattista Pittoni, King Candaules, 03 Paintings, Olympian deities, with footnotes #38

Jean-Léon Gérôme, (1824–1904)
King Candaules, c. 1859
Oil on canvas
Height: 67 cm (26.3 ″); Width: 100.1 cm (39.4 ″)
Museo de Arte de Ponce

 

Jean-Léon Gérôme (11 May 1824 – 10 January 1904) was a French painter and sculptor in the style now known as Academicism. The range of his oeuvre included historical painting, Greek mythology, Orientalism, portraits and other subjects, bringing the Academic painting tradition to an artistic climax. He is considered one of the most important painters from this academic period, and in addition to being a painter, he was also a teacher with a long list of students. More on Jean-Léon Gérôme

According to Herodotus, Candaules believed his wife, Nyssia, to be the most beautiful woman on Earth. 

Candaules often told his favourite bodyguard, Gyges, how beautiful the queen was and, thinking Gyges did not believe him, urged Gyges to contrive to see her naked. Gyges initially refused as he did not wish to dishonor the queen. Nevertheless, Candaules was insistent and Gyges had no option but to obey his king. So Gyges hid in Candaules’ bedroom and, when the queen entered, watched her undress. As she was getting into bed, he quietly left the room, but the queen saw him and realised what had happened….

 

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Anna Razumovskaya, Three Graces 2 01 Work, Contemporary Interpretations of Olympian deities, with footnotes #21

ANNA RAZUMOVSKAYA
Anna Razumovskaya
Three Graces 2
Oil on canvas stretched on wood
36″x48″
Private collection

In Greek mythology, a Charis or Grace is one of three or more minor goddesses of charm, beauty, nature, human creativity, and fertility, together known as the Charites or Graces. The usual list, from youngest to oldest is Aglaea (“Splendor”), Euphrosyne (“Mirth”), and Thalia (“Good Cheer”). In Roman mythology they were known as the Gratiae, the “Graces”. In some variants, Charis was one of the Graces and was not the singular form of their name.

The Charites were usually considered the daughters of Zeus and Eurynome, though they were also said to be daughters of Dionysus and Aphrodite or of Helios and the naiad Aegle. Other possible names of their mother by Zeus are Eurydome, Eurymedousa, and Euanthe. Homer wrote that they were part of the retinue of Aphrodite. The Charites were also associated with the Greek underworld and the Eleusinian Mysteries.

The river Cephissus near Delphi was sacred to them. More Three Graces (aka the Charities)

Anna Razumovskaya is best known for her classic, romantic figures that carry a sense of elegance and grace.

Anna is a graduate of the Russian State Academy Of Arts (Rostov-on-Don), where she was awarded the distinction of high-class artist in 1991. Subsequently she studied art in Germany, Belgium and Holland. With solo exhibitions in New York, Paris, Toronto, Amsterdam, Antwerp and Berlin and numerous works in private collections across the globe.

Born at the height of the Cold War, Anna was exposed to very different worlds. She experience the austere world of the communist regime alongside the sophisticated and feminine influence of her fashion-conscious mother. She excelled at art school, and enjoyed the freedom of learning and perfecting her technique in a variety of different media. Of particular interest to her were the portrait masters of the late 19th Century, John Singer Sargent, the Russian painter Valentin Serov, and earlier masters such as Peter Paul Rubens and Rembrandt. She traveled around Europe absorbing the influences of artists, and finally settled in Canada which she now feels to be her true home. More on Anna Razumovskaya

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Francesco Cairo, Hercules and Omphale 01 Painting, Olympian deities, by the Old Masters, with footnotes #37

Attributed to Francesco CAIRO (Milan 1607-1674)
Attributed to Francesco Cairo, (Milan 1607-1674)
Hercules and Omphale
Oil on canvas
41 3/8 X 33 1/4 IN.
Private collection

Hercules and Omphale. Wishing to expiate the murder of one of his friends, Hercules consulted the oracle of Apollo, who advised him to enter the service of Omphale, Queen of Lydia. Although Hercules was the son of Zeus and was famed for his invincible strength, he submitted to the tasks the queen devised for him to expiate his crime. Omphale fell in love with Hercules for his strength and physical beauty, and the couple married. This tale, found in both Greek and Roman mythology, is told with a number of variations. It proved a great source of inspiration for French and Italian Mannerist painters, as well as the Venetian artists who influenced Lemoyne. François Boucher also painted a version of the same love scene. More on Hercules and Omphale

Francesco Cairo (26 September 1607 – 27 July 1665) was an Italian Baroque painter active in Lombardy and Piedmont. He was born and died in Milan. It is not known where he obtained his early training though he is strongly influenced by the circle of il Morazzone, in works such as the Saint Teresa altarpiece in the Certosa di Pavia.

In 1633, Cairo moved to Turin to work as a court painter. Between 1637–1638, Cairo travelled to Rome, where he encounters the works of Pietro da Cortona, Guido Reni and of the Caravaggisti. He returns to Lombardy to complete altarpieces for the Certosa of Pavia and a church at Casalpusterlengo. Between 1646–1649, he returns to Turin, and paints an altarpiece for Savigliano and the church of San Salvario. He is also known as Il Cavalière del Cairo, because in Turin, he received the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus in recognition of his merit.

Many of his works are eccentric depictions of religious ecstasies; the saints appear liquefied and contorted by piety. He often caps them with exuberant, oriental turbans. More on Francesco Cairo

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Italian master of the 17th century; THE ROYAL OF THE SABINERS 01 Painting, Olympian deities, by the Old Masters, with footnotes #36

Italian master of the 17th century
Italian master of the 17th century
THE ROYAL OF THE SABINERS
Oil on canvas. Relined.
117 x 187 cm.
Private collection

In the center of the large-format picture, in the open air, two Romans in armor with spring-loaded helmet, holding in their hands a young woman who defends herself with arms raised against their abduction. On the left side of the picture the wide sea with a big sailboat. A young man with a helmet and a paddle in his hands seems to be waiting for the abductee to take her away with his boat. On the right side underneath a round temple eager battles fight, in which also a horse is to be seen. More on this painting


The Sabines were an Italic people that lived in the central Apennine Mountains of ancient Italy, also inhabiting Latium north of the Anio before the founding of Rome.
The Sabines divided into two populations just after the founding of Rome, which is described by Roman legend. The division, however it came about, is not legendary. The population closer to Rome transplanted itself to the new city and united with the preexisting citizenry, beginning a new heritage that descended from the Sabines but was also Latinized. The second population remained a mountain tribal state, coming finally to war against Rome for its independence along with all the other Italic tribes. After losing, it became assimilated into the Roman Republic. More on The Sabines
In art history, “Old Master” refers to any painter of skill who worked in Europe before about 1800, or a painting by such an artist. The term “old master drawing” is used in the same way.
In theory, “Old Master” applies only to artists who were fully trained, were Masters of their local artists’ guild, and worked independently, but in practice, paintings produced by pupils or workshops are often included in the scope of the term. Therefore, beyond a certain level of competence, date rather than quality is the criterion for using the term. More on the Old Master

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ITALIAN SCHOOL; THE THREE GRACES 01 Paintings, Olympian deities, by the Old Masters, with footnotes #37

ITALIAN SCHOOL, (17th century)
THE THREE GRACES

Oil on canvas
59 1/2 x 44 in. (151.1 x 111.8cm)
Private collection

In Greek mythology, a Charis or Grace is one of three or more minor goddesses of charm, beauty, nature, human creativity, and fertility, together known as the Charites or Graces. The usual list, from youngest to oldest is Aglaea (“Splendor”), Euphrosyne (“Mirth”), and Thalia (“Good Cheer”). In Roman mythology they were known as the Gratiae, the “Graces”. In some variants, Charis was one of the Graces and was not the singular form of their name.

The Charites were usually considered the daughters of Zeus and Eurynome, though they were also said to be daughters of Dionysus and Aphrodite or of Helios and the naiad Aegle. Other possible names of their mother by Zeus are Eurydome, Eurymedousa, and Euanthe. Homer wrote that they were part of the retinue of Aphrodite. The Charites were also associated with the Greek underworld and the Eleusinian Mysteries.

The river Cephissus near Delphi was sacred to them. More Three Graces (aka the Charities)

Painting in 17th-century Italy was an international endeavor. Large numbers of artists traveled to Rome, especially, to work and study. They sought not only the many commissions being extended by the Church but also the chance to learn from past masters. Most of the century was dominated by the baroque style, whose expressive power was well suited to the needs of the Counter-Reformation Church for affecting images.


The drama and movement that characterized the baroque—in sculpture and architecture as well as painting—can be first seen, perhaps, in the work of Caravaggio, who died in 1610. His strong contrasts of light and dark and unblinking realism were taken up by many artists, including the Italian Orazio Gentileschi, the Spaniard Jusepe de Ribera, and the Frenchmen Valentin de Boulogne and Simon Vouet, all of whom worked in Italy. Other artists carried Caravaggio’s so-called tenebrist style to northern Europe.


The more classical approach of the Carracci and their students Guercino and Domenichino was also an important force in 17th-century painting. It provided a foundation for the rational clarity that structured the work of French artists Nicolas Poussin and Claude Lorrain, both of whom worked in Rome for most of their lives. More on the ITALIAN SCHOOL, (17th century)

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