Some Male OlympiansBut before we get to this, take the next twoslides together, as an updated version of aClassical Myth. I’m merely planting a seed here for a future assignment. This is a modern take on Apollo and Hyacinth throwing the discus…
If this m ale is an O lym pian, then he can only be Ares (M ars), sonof Zeus (J upiter) and Hera(Juno). His iconographic sym bols are the paraphernalia of war:shield , helm et, and spear (bl figure vase) ack
Quick FYI: There are two types of art on ancient Greek pottery, red figure(below) and black figure (above). To create a black figure the artist would paint a silhouette onclay (here, left, Ajax carrying the dead Achilles from the Trojan battlefield)
The artist, Kleitiashere (570-60 BCE),would then incise the detail before the pottery is fired
This black-figure amphora by Exekias(540-530) is exquisite. Achilles and Ajax playing a board game. Notice the symmetry: Their spears point the way up to the handles which return on eachside at their shields; thecurvature of their backsreflects the shape of the amphora itself.
Back to Ares, butnot much else to say about him here
A m arble sculpture(420 BC E) of Ares inthe Borghese, one ofthe best m useum s in Rom e
Okay—Ares on the right in thisfamous painting reminds me ofthe chap below, one member of the band that sang the old (but still popular) song ‘YMCA’ (sorry, couldn’t resist)
Finally, Phobos and Deimos (Greek for panic and fear) are the names of two of the four children he had with Aphrodite. Below are the moons of the planet Mars, appropriately names Phobos and Deimos
Ares’ long-standingaffair with Aphrodite isso well known that the artist here has placednot Hephaestus next tohis wife Aphrodite, but Ares and their love child, Cupid
Here we have a youngHephaestus (Vulcan) on theground at Lem nos, an isl andin the Aegean Sea. He was thrown from M t. O l pus ymby either Zeus or Hera when he tried to com e between them d uring one of their m any spats. The Lem nian wom en nursed him back tohealth after he injured his l eg(hence ‘the d eform ed god ’— but one version states that he was born that way).Lem nos becam e his favorite pl and he retired there ace often.
Hephaestus was thesm ith of the god s, who, along with the 3 C yclopes, m ad e Zeus’thund erbolts, the god ’s hom es, their thrones, and arm or for certain m ortals. Notice the arm or and tools: grieves, helm et, tools, and shield .
This scene is from the Il which iad we’ll stud y in several weeks.Thetis, Achilles’ m other, is sitting on the right, seeing her refl ection in the shiel hel by either d d Hephaestus or one of the C yclopes. In this Rom an fresco,notice the arm or in the foreground , the helm et bel left, and the foot ow rest below the feet of Thetis.
Henry Fuseli Hephaestus, Bia and Crato Securing Prometheus on Mount Caucasus circa 1810 Pencil and watercolouron paper, 359 x 302 mm
A painting by the Spanish artist Velazquez (1 630). Hel (GAH nam es him as Apolo) ius lvisits the workshop of Hephaestus to tel him of the affair between his wife Aphrod ite l and Ares. Hephaestus is to the right of Hel folowed by the 3 C ycl ius, l opes who are m aking arm or for som eone. Helius is in the sky and in a position see everything.
Aphrod ite and Ares are busted with the help of Hephaestus’ fine net. Hephaestushas his back to theviewer (notice the tool in his left hand ), while theother d ivinities are recognizablethrough their icon. sym bols.
A d rawing from a M ed ieval m anuscript (look closely and you can see the letters on the other sid e of the page). This d rawing d epicts two scenesfrom the affair of Aph. and Ares. O n the left we see the pair on the bedund er the net of Hephaestus. O n the right Helius, with his sun rays, talks to Hephaestus in his workshop.
Saturn Jupiter M ercury Neptune Vul can Hel ius Vul can
The following drawing is byNancy Farmer (no relation), one of my favourite modern artistswho is often inspired by Classical Myth
More byNancyFarmer Mrs.Cyclops,recentlywidowed
The seven deadly sins goclubbing(unrelated to myth)
Artists love to d epict this scene. French 1 677. Notice Ares’ arm orhanging up to the right and Hephaestus about to throw his net upon the pair (artists can certainly take som e license with the d etails of the story when creating their art).
Sleeping with Aphrodite evidently means the (physical)triumph over Hephaestus
Below is Hermes’Caduceus. Left is Hermes slaying the 100-eyed Argus
(speakers on?)Hermes had a brief affair with Aphrodite, resulting in a male child named Hermaphroditus (conflation of both of their names). Salmacis, a nymph,saw him bathing in a pond oneday; she jumped into the water, embraced the beautiful boy, and prayed that they never be parted…A wish come true. Etiology for a hermaphrodite Spranger, 1546-1611
Josonia Palaitis’ (2007) modern interpretation of Salmacis and Hermaphroditus
A statue of Herm es, call a Herm s, sim ilar to ed this one, was usual found in front of m ost ly resid ences in the city of Athens. The god protected the resid ents from thieves andburglars. O nce on the m orning of a big naval exped ition to Sicily, the resid ents of Athens awoke to find that m ost of the phalloi on theirHerm s had been broken off by vand als. Therewas a huge d ebate on whether or not to sendthe ships--was it a bad om en? The Athenianssent the ships, and the naval exped ition was a huge d isaster. Hard lesson.
A tortoise shellreplica of the lyre that Hermes constructed andeventually gave toApollo as a gift of friendship
Here we have Poseidon, the Roman Neptune. His main iconographic symbol is thetrident which he holds in his left hand. Without iconographic symbols, we could not correctly identify Zeus, Hades, and Poseidon,who are all mature, muscular, bearded males
Poseid on l eaning onhis trid ent (m issing).Greek m arbl statue e 2nd century BC E
“Q uos ego!” byPeter Paul Rubens (1 577-1 640), a Flem ish m aster painter. This d epicts Neptune cal ing the seas m and banishingAeol the god of us, the wind whocreated a storm for Juno in ord er to sink the ships of Aeneas, a Troj an refugee of theTroj War as tol an d by Virgil.