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they often appear in paintings with mythological themes, from the Middle Ages to the present day
creatures half men, half horses, inhabiting forests and mountains
born of the union of Ixion, king of the Lapiths, with Nephele, a cloud to whom Zeus had given the appearance of Hera
violent and savage, with brutal morals and an inordinate love of wine and women
Centaurs from Greek Mythology
in paintings
The dramatic struggle between great cats and a pair of centaurs ...
the tiger has managed to bring the female centaur to the ground
and seems intent on not surrendering its prey
the male centaur has been able to defend itself successfully from the lion
and rushes to his companion’s side holding a rock aloft above his head
Even though one lion already lies fatally wounded,
the outcome of the struggle is anything but clear because in the background
we see yet another foe for the centaur: a leopard ready to pounce.
Unknown Inconnu
Centaur mosaic from the Villa Hadriana
Mosaïque du centaure dans le triclinium de la villa d'Hadrien
120-130
Altes Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Berlin
Centaurs and Lapiths
The centaurs of Mount Pelion are invited to King Piritheus' wedding to Hippodamia, but the banquet goes awry:
Several drunken centaurs, notably Eurytion, attempt to rape Hippodamia and other Lapith women.
In the battle that ensued, Theseus came to the Lapiths' aid.
After the battle the defeated Centaurs were expelled from Thessaly or destroyed.
A contrast between civilization and bestiality,
a moment of great tension ...
the fair Hippodamia swoons, in the clutches of the bearded Eurytus
and
is rescued by the hero Theseus, the epitome of bravery and manhood
as well as of order triumphing over chaos,
Theseus´s two strong, young friends leap boldly to his assistance,
toppling wine and fruit from the table of the wedding feast.
Peter Paul Rubens, and workshop, et atelier
The Rape of Hippodamia
L'enlèvement d'Hippodamie
1636-1637
Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid
Pitched and bloody battles,
with eyes being gouged out, Lapiths and Centaurs wielding clubs and
other weapons at one another ...
Hylonome embraces and kisses the dying Cyllarus,
on the large carpets laid out for the wedding feast,
centaurs are still abducting women
centaurs use a burning shrine, the leg of a table, the antlers of a stag
and a chandelier from a nearby sanctuary as weapons,
Hercules with his laurel wreath and lion skin, about to attack a centaur.
Piero di Cosimo
Battle of Lapiths and Centaurs
Combat de Centaures et des Lapithes
1500-1515
National Gallery, London
Chiron
a civilised, wise and gentle centaur, famous for being a tutor and mentor to some of Greece's greatest heroes.
Born to Cronus and Philyra, rather than being a descendant of Ixion, he looked a lot like his half-horse cousins, but his keen intelligence set him apart from other centaurs.
Poor Chiron's teaching career ended when Heracles accidentally shot him with an arrow dipped in Hydra venom.
In order to rid himself of the pain, Chiron has given up his own immortality.
Zeus would acknowledge the greatness of the centaur Chiron, by placing the centaur amongst the stars, as the constellation Centaurus (or Sagittarius according to sources).
The centaur Chiron raised Achilles at the request of Achilles' mother.
The lyre, arrow and hunting horns, refer to his lessons in music and poetry and hunting.
He also gave lessons in horse-riding and medicine,
which is symbolised by the god Aesculapius, who is depicted on the left as a hermit.
Peter Paul Rubens
Achilles Educated by the Centaur Chiron
Achille éduqué par le centaure Chiron
1630-1635
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam
In his youth Achilles was handed over to Chiron,
a wise and learned Centaur who taught him many arts …
“Some might think it's undignified to teach my pupils how to ride on my own back,
but I place safety first and would never trust them to a common horse.”
Pierre Puget
Education d'Achille par le centaure Chiron
The Education of Achilles by Chiron
1690
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Marseille
The late eighteenth century Neoclassical taste for dramatic mythological subjects.
Chiron teaches Achilles archery …
a lyre,
a lion, allusion to Achilles' particular diet, who ate lion's meat to increase his strength
and courage,
a snake, a sacred animal referring to knowledge
( … and a little tuft low down on Chiron's abdomen.
Really, it does cause one to ponder the specific anatomy of a centaur, doesn't it ...?)
Jean-Baptiste Regnault
L'Éducation d'Achille par le centaure Chiron
The Education of Achilles by Chiron
1782
Musée du Louvre, Paris
Pholus
civilized, wise and benevolent centaur, son of Silenus and a Hamadryad, different genealogy from that of the other centaurs of Ixion.
When Heracles enters the scene ...
During the hunt for the wild boar of Erymanthus, Heracles was received by Pholus, who in his honor opened a barrel of a delicious wine, present from Dionysus.
The aroma of the wine attracted the other centaurs and each demanding a share of the wine.
And Heracles took up his bow and soon arrow after arrow was finding its marking, killing many centaurs.
Pholus, being a civilised centaur, began to bury the dead.
But accidentally wounded himself with one of the venomous arrows while he was either marveling at how such a small thing could kill a centaur.
He died quickly as a result of the poison's extreme virulence.
The brawl that ensued after the hero stopped to accept the invitation of the centaur Pholus
to join him to drink a prized wine given by the god Dionysius to the centaurs in common.
Resentful at Pholus for sharing the gift, the other centaurs fight.
At center, Pholus and Hercules vie with another centaur for the wine sack.
A tangle of bodies (human and animal) fighting amidst the remains of the overturned feast ...
Wine, not blood, catches the eye - spurting out from the sack, spilling from pitchers
and staining the ground.
Charles Le Brun
Le combat d’Hercule et des Centaures
Hercules Slaying the Centaurs
1660
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
A hero who goes in search of the boar of Erymanthus and a meal offered by a centaur …
Hercules, forced to defend himself, club in hand, unloads it on the first person to appear,
Pholus, is fighting with one of his adversaries, whom he wants to cut with a table knife.
Nephele, from whom all these centaurs were born, seems to be on the side
of Hercules and Pholus:
in the figure of a young girl with the downpours on the earth wants
to hinder the progress of the hero.
Miscalculation: The centaurs themselves struggle to get out of the mud.
Bon Boullogne
Hercule combat les Centaures
Hercules Fighting the Centaurs
1677
Musée du Louvre, Paris
Nessus
a non-civilised centaur, who tricked a lady into believing that her poisoned blood is a love potion.
When Heracles enters the scene …
Nessus made himself useful by acting as the ferryman across the River Evinos.
And Heracles and Deianira would find themselves need of a ferryman to cross the river. But when Deianira was on the back of Nessus, the centaur decided to abduct her.
And Heracles kills Nessus with an arrow poisoned with Hydra venom.
In the end, however, Nessus shows that he's not just any stupid old centaur.
And ends up causing the death of Heracles.
Nessus, looks worryingly heroic
and
Deianeira, seems to be flying.
The small figure of Heracles in the distance is well-lit,
but loses the details of bow and arrow.
In any case, the arrow could hardly strike Nessus in the chest.
Guido Reni
Déjanire enlevée par Nessus
Abduction of Deianira
1617-1621
Musée du Louvre, Paris
Nessus, bearing a distressed Deianeira in his arms, has just reached the opposite bank,
Heracles is on the left in the distance, and we can at least see his face, bow and arrow.
There appears to be no way that Heracles’ arrow could impale Nessus’ chest,
without first passing through some of the abundant Deianeira, nor his back.
Louis-Jean-François Lagrenée
L'enlèvement de Déjanire par le centaure Nessus
The Abduction of Deianeira by the Centaur Nessus
1755
Musée du Louvre, Paris
…”Look at that big meany about to murder poor, innocent Nessus.
Deinara would've been way better off if she'd gone with one of our kind.”
Jules Elie Delaunay
La Mort de Nessus
The Death of Nessus
1870
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes, Nantes
Mysterious …
Nessus is far from part-human,
and Deianeira isn’t the beauty she was claimed to be.
As those two wrestle grimly, Heracles has stolen up behind them,
and is busy pushing a spear into Nessus’ bulging belly.
Blood pours from the wound, but Deianeira is in no position to collect it. !
Arnold Böcklin
Nessus and Deianira
Nessus et Déjanire
1898
Museum Pfalzgalerie Kaiserslautern, Kaiserslautern
Nessus has been struck, is bleeding, and holding out some cloth
which is slightly blood-stained.
An arrow lies on the ground in front of him, but none in his chest.
Deianeira looks distressed.
Approaching them with a heavy club in his right hand is Heracles,
perhaps come to finish the centaur off.
To those Coypel adds
three winged putti,
an old man with a shovel
and
another couple of figures, watching but not apparently part of this story.
Noël Coypel
Enlèvement de Déjanire par le centaure Nessus
Hercules and Deianeira
1695-1699
Musée de Versailles, Versailles
Jagged mountains, the hazy, mysterious landscape provides an eerie background.
Heracles may be lurking in the dense wood around them ...
The centaur seeks to embrace this graceful, lithe figure, which is about to escape him.
It is a last gleam, a last smile of nature and life.
Winter threatens.
Night is coming on.
It is autumn.
Gustave Moreau
Déjanire (Automne)
Dejanira (Autumn)
1872-1873
J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
wild and aggressive,
sensual and passionate ...
centaurs continue to fascinate and inspire artists ...
A forbidding rocky wilderness, where heaven and earth impinge,
the bodies come together to form a dark, anonymous mass ...
a deadly confrontation between centaurs on a snow-covered mountain top,
a metaphor for the struggle against each other
Arnold Böcklin
Battle of the Centaurs
Combat de centaures
1872-1873
Kunstmuseum Basel, Basel
A centaur has trespassed on forbidden territory
is surprised by Palas, the guardian of the place ...
an antithesis between the passionate nature of the Centaur and the purity of the goddess,
an allegory of wisdom that dominates instinct
or
the victory of knowledge over ignorance
Sandro Botticelli
Pallas and the Centaur
Pallas et le Centaure
1482
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence
a rocky landscape,
a cave,
a little winged god holding a red arch
and
a centaur who has found Cupid’s quiver and accidentally pierced a hoof with an arrow
…
an allegory of the dangers of love ...
The centaur, far from being upset by the wound,
looks curiously at the arrows in the quiver
decorated with gold and a cord topped with tassels.
Filippino Lippi
The Wounded Centaur
Le centaure blessé
1490
Christ Church, University of Oxford
A reflection on the duality of human nature,
with the poet symbolizing the spiritual part and the centaur the material part …
It is also a pessimistic reflection on the fate reserved for artists:
“How many perished without funeral at the bottom of the solitary ravines.
Certainly, it happens that a charitable centaur takes in the victim and thinks,
in his simple heart, that the man was insane;
but oblivion, like still water, buries most of them.” (Ary Renan)
...
Nature is empathetic here since the sun sets at the same time as the poet dies.
Gustave Moreau
Poète mort porté par un centaure
Dead poet borne by centaur
1890
Musée National Gustave Moreau, Paris
a centaur and three lovely nymphes having a good time ...
...
Name: Centaur
Occupation: Happily unemployed
Relationship status: Looking for love
Interested in: Centaurides (girl centaurs)
Nymphs (all kinds)
Human maidens
Franz von Stuck
Der Spaziergang
The Ride
Balade
1903
Museum Georg Schäfer, Schweinfurt
Centaurs from Greek mythology in paintings
Centaures de la mythologie grecque dans la peinture
images and text credit www.
Music The Piano Guys Michael Meets Mozart
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Centaurs from Greek mythology.ppsx

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  • 2. they often appear in paintings with mythological themes, from the Middle Ages to the present day creatures half men, half horses, inhabiting forests and mountains born of the union of Ixion, king of the Lapiths, with Nephele, a cloud to whom Zeus had given the appearance of Hera violent and savage, with brutal morals and an inordinate love of wine and women
  • 3. Centaurs from Greek Mythology in paintings
  • 4. The dramatic struggle between great cats and a pair of centaurs ... the tiger has managed to bring the female centaur to the ground and seems intent on not surrendering its prey the male centaur has been able to defend itself successfully from the lion and rushes to his companion’s side holding a rock aloft above his head Even though one lion already lies fatally wounded, the outcome of the struggle is anything but clear because in the background we see yet another foe for the centaur: a leopard ready to pounce. Unknown Inconnu Centaur mosaic from the Villa Hadriana Mosaïque du centaure dans le triclinium de la villa d'Hadrien 120-130 Altes Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Berlin
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  • 8. Centaurs and Lapiths The centaurs of Mount Pelion are invited to King Piritheus' wedding to Hippodamia, but the banquet goes awry: Several drunken centaurs, notably Eurytion, attempt to rape Hippodamia and other Lapith women. In the battle that ensued, Theseus came to the Lapiths' aid. After the battle the defeated Centaurs were expelled from Thessaly or destroyed.
  • 9. A contrast between civilization and bestiality, a moment of great tension ... the fair Hippodamia swoons, in the clutches of the bearded Eurytus and is rescued by the hero Theseus, the epitome of bravery and manhood as well as of order triumphing over chaos, Theseus´s two strong, young friends leap boldly to his assistance, toppling wine and fruit from the table of the wedding feast. Peter Paul Rubens, and workshop, et atelier The Rape of Hippodamia L'enlèvement d'Hippodamie 1636-1637 Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid
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  • 12. Pitched and bloody battles, with eyes being gouged out, Lapiths and Centaurs wielding clubs and other weapons at one another ... Hylonome embraces and kisses the dying Cyllarus, on the large carpets laid out for the wedding feast, centaurs are still abducting women centaurs use a burning shrine, the leg of a table, the antlers of a stag and a chandelier from a nearby sanctuary as weapons, Hercules with his laurel wreath and lion skin, about to attack a centaur. Piero di Cosimo Battle of Lapiths and Centaurs Combat de Centaures et des Lapithes 1500-1515 National Gallery, London
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  • 17. Chiron a civilised, wise and gentle centaur, famous for being a tutor and mentor to some of Greece's greatest heroes. Born to Cronus and Philyra, rather than being a descendant of Ixion, he looked a lot like his half-horse cousins, but his keen intelligence set him apart from other centaurs. Poor Chiron's teaching career ended when Heracles accidentally shot him with an arrow dipped in Hydra venom. In order to rid himself of the pain, Chiron has given up his own immortality. Zeus would acknowledge the greatness of the centaur Chiron, by placing the centaur amongst the stars, as the constellation Centaurus (or Sagittarius according to sources).
  • 18. The centaur Chiron raised Achilles at the request of Achilles' mother. The lyre, arrow and hunting horns, refer to his lessons in music and poetry and hunting. He also gave lessons in horse-riding and medicine, which is symbolised by the god Aesculapius, who is depicted on the left as a hermit. Peter Paul Rubens Achilles Educated by the Centaur Chiron Achille éduqué par le centaure Chiron 1630-1635 Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam
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  • 20. In his youth Achilles was handed over to Chiron, a wise and learned Centaur who taught him many arts … “Some might think it's undignified to teach my pupils how to ride on my own back, but I place safety first and would never trust them to a common horse.” Pierre Puget Education d'Achille par le centaure Chiron The Education of Achilles by Chiron 1690 Musée des Beaux-Arts, Marseille
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  • 22. The late eighteenth century Neoclassical taste for dramatic mythological subjects. Chiron teaches Achilles archery … a lyre, a lion, allusion to Achilles' particular diet, who ate lion's meat to increase his strength and courage, a snake, a sacred animal referring to knowledge ( … and a little tuft low down on Chiron's abdomen. Really, it does cause one to ponder the specific anatomy of a centaur, doesn't it ...?) Jean-Baptiste Regnault L'Éducation d'Achille par le centaure Chiron The Education of Achilles by Chiron 1782 Musée du Louvre, Paris
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  • 25. Pholus civilized, wise and benevolent centaur, son of Silenus and a Hamadryad, different genealogy from that of the other centaurs of Ixion. When Heracles enters the scene ... During the hunt for the wild boar of Erymanthus, Heracles was received by Pholus, who in his honor opened a barrel of a delicious wine, present from Dionysus. The aroma of the wine attracted the other centaurs and each demanding a share of the wine. And Heracles took up his bow and soon arrow after arrow was finding its marking, killing many centaurs. Pholus, being a civilised centaur, began to bury the dead. But accidentally wounded himself with one of the venomous arrows while he was either marveling at how such a small thing could kill a centaur. He died quickly as a result of the poison's extreme virulence.
  • 26. The brawl that ensued after the hero stopped to accept the invitation of the centaur Pholus to join him to drink a prized wine given by the god Dionysius to the centaurs in common. Resentful at Pholus for sharing the gift, the other centaurs fight. At center, Pholus and Hercules vie with another centaur for the wine sack. A tangle of bodies (human and animal) fighting amidst the remains of the overturned feast ... Wine, not blood, catches the eye - spurting out from the sack, spilling from pitchers and staining the ground. Charles Le Brun Le combat d’Hercule et des Centaures Hercules Slaying the Centaurs 1660 National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
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  • 29. A hero who goes in search of the boar of Erymanthus and a meal offered by a centaur … Hercules, forced to defend himself, club in hand, unloads it on the first person to appear, Pholus, is fighting with one of his adversaries, whom he wants to cut with a table knife. Nephele, from whom all these centaurs were born, seems to be on the side of Hercules and Pholus: in the figure of a young girl with the downpours on the earth wants to hinder the progress of the hero. Miscalculation: The centaurs themselves struggle to get out of the mud. Bon Boullogne Hercule combat les Centaures Hercules Fighting the Centaurs 1677 Musée du Louvre, Paris
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  • 32. Nessus a non-civilised centaur, who tricked a lady into believing that her poisoned blood is a love potion. When Heracles enters the scene … Nessus made himself useful by acting as the ferryman across the River Evinos. And Heracles and Deianira would find themselves need of a ferryman to cross the river. But when Deianira was on the back of Nessus, the centaur decided to abduct her. And Heracles kills Nessus with an arrow poisoned with Hydra venom. In the end, however, Nessus shows that he's not just any stupid old centaur. And ends up causing the death of Heracles.
  • 33. Nessus, looks worryingly heroic and Deianeira, seems to be flying. The small figure of Heracles in the distance is well-lit, but loses the details of bow and arrow. In any case, the arrow could hardly strike Nessus in the chest. Guido Reni Déjanire enlevée par Nessus Abduction of Deianira 1617-1621 Musée du Louvre, Paris
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  • 35. Nessus, bearing a distressed Deianeira in his arms, has just reached the opposite bank, Heracles is on the left in the distance, and we can at least see his face, bow and arrow. There appears to be no way that Heracles’ arrow could impale Nessus’ chest, without first passing through some of the abundant Deianeira, nor his back. Louis-Jean-François Lagrenée L'enlèvement de Déjanire par le centaure Nessus The Abduction of Deianeira by the Centaur Nessus 1755 Musée du Louvre, Paris
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  • 38. …”Look at that big meany about to murder poor, innocent Nessus. Deinara would've been way better off if she'd gone with one of our kind.” Jules Elie Delaunay La Mort de Nessus The Death of Nessus 1870 Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes, Nantes
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  • 41. Mysterious … Nessus is far from part-human, and Deianeira isn’t the beauty she was claimed to be. As those two wrestle grimly, Heracles has stolen up behind them, and is busy pushing a spear into Nessus’ bulging belly. Blood pours from the wound, but Deianeira is in no position to collect it. ! Arnold Böcklin Nessus and Deianira Nessus et Déjanire 1898 Museum Pfalzgalerie Kaiserslautern, Kaiserslautern
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  • 44. Nessus has been struck, is bleeding, and holding out some cloth which is slightly blood-stained. An arrow lies on the ground in front of him, but none in his chest. Deianeira looks distressed. Approaching them with a heavy club in his right hand is Heracles, perhaps come to finish the centaur off. To those Coypel adds three winged putti, an old man with a shovel and another couple of figures, watching but not apparently part of this story. Noël Coypel Enlèvement de Déjanire par le centaure Nessus Hercules and Deianeira 1695-1699 Musée de Versailles, Versailles
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  • 47. Jagged mountains, the hazy, mysterious landscape provides an eerie background. Heracles may be lurking in the dense wood around them ... The centaur seeks to embrace this graceful, lithe figure, which is about to escape him. It is a last gleam, a last smile of nature and life. Winter threatens. Night is coming on. It is autumn. Gustave Moreau Déjanire (Automne) Dejanira (Autumn) 1872-1873 J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
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  • 51. wild and aggressive, sensual and passionate ... centaurs continue to fascinate and inspire artists ...
  • 52. A forbidding rocky wilderness, where heaven and earth impinge, the bodies come together to form a dark, anonymous mass ... a deadly confrontation between centaurs on a snow-covered mountain top, a metaphor for the struggle against each other Arnold Böcklin Battle of the Centaurs Combat de centaures 1872-1873 Kunstmuseum Basel, Basel
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  • 56. A centaur has trespassed on forbidden territory is surprised by Palas, the guardian of the place ... an antithesis between the passionate nature of the Centaur and the purity of the goddess, an allegory of wisdom that dominates instinct or the victory of knowledge over ignorance Sandro Botticelli Pallas and the Centaur Pallas et le Centaure 1482 Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence
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  • 59. a rocky landscape, a cave, a little winged god holding a red arch and a centaur who has found Cupid’s quiver and accidentally pierced a hoof with an arrow … an allegory of the dangers of love ... The centaur, far from being upset by the wound, looks curiously at the arrows in the quiver decorated with gold and a cord topped with tassels. Filippino Lippi The Wounded Centaur Le centaure blessé 1490 Christ Church, University of Oxford
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  • 62. A reflection on the duality of human nature, with the poet symbolizing the spiritual part and the centaur the material part … It is also a pessimistic reflection on the fate reserved for artists: “How many perished without funeral at the bottom of the solitary ravines. Certainly, it happens that a charitable centaur takes in the victim and thinks, in his simple heart, that the man was insane; but oblivion, like still water, buries most of them.” (Ary Renan) ... Nature is empathetic here since the sun sets at the same time as the poet dies. Gustave Moreau Poète mort porté par un centaure Dead poet borne by centaur 1890 Musée National Gustave Moreau, Paris
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  • 65. a centaur and three lovely nymphes having a good time ... ... Name: Centaur Occupation: Happily unemployed Relationship status: Looking for love Interested in: Centaurides (girl centaurs) Nymphs (all kinds) Human maidens Franz von Stuck Der Spaziergang The Ride Balade 1903 Museum Georg Schäfer, Schweinfurt
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  • 68. Centaurs from Greek mythology in paintings Centaures de la mythologie grecque dans la peinture images and text credit www. Music The Piano Guys Michael Meets Mozart created olga_oes thanks for watching Merci M.C., merci Michel