Thursday, July 30, 2015

Venus: A Biography (Part II)

One of several biographical-mythological details covered in Andrew Dalby's Venus: A Biography (The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2005) is the rise of Venus from ocean to Mount Olympus. Her ascendance is -- or seems to be -- paralleled in the arc of Psyche. They are pictured together here by Max Klinger, circa 1881.

Venus challenges Psyche much as Hera had challenged Venus. The latter's son Cupid adds a tryst twist by sleeping with Psyche.
Cupid (aka Eros and Amor) is happy to hook up with Psyche, but on condition that they do so only in the dark. She must not see him in the light! But of course, how can she not challenge this one rule? And she does . . . leading to more adventures, but out in the scary world. Pictured here: Amore e Psiche (1707 to 1709) by Giuseppe Crespi (which can be found in Wiki Commons).
Psyche completes a bunch of tricky tasks, only to let her curiosity upend her one more time . . . But how can she not look inside the magic box retrieved from Persephone (Proserpina), the Maiden, Queen of the Underworld? Wouldn't you? Pictured: Psyche Opening the Golden Box (1903) by John William Waterhouse (via Wiki Commons via Irish Pearl).

Venus and Psyche, Cupid and Persephone -- Wow.

Today's Rune: Breakthrough. 


Charles Gramlich said...

Those Greek gods and goddesses were quite the virile individuals.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Now I am intrigued to learn more about Psyche and how her name informs our current use of the word.

jodi said...

Erik, The pics are so lovely. Dane used to know everything about mythology and tried to teach me!