Discover the myths of Aphrodite with 3 different perspective
Stella Sevastopoulos - Aphrodite as Inspiration and Sweetness
Stella Sevastopoulos offers us to a world of lyrical poetry, through the first myth of Aphrodite, where it was only the Sky and Earth, together surrounded by the sea. She exposes the Goddess of Beauty and Love, pure and feminine, born from the sea.
The artist uses a mix technique of acrylic and printing technique driving us to a dreamlike world, where the Sea is fertilized by the genitals of the Sky, and the genitals and the foam together in the movements of the sea give birth to Aphrodite. A Goddess born adult and beautiful, and for whom hymns, and poems will be written and sang all around the Mediterranean Sea for centuries. Stella Sevastopoulos designs for us a magical landscape and continue with abstract representations of ancient time and then gives life to the feminine symbols in the abstract nature, where the flowers and the woman share the same power of creation. As a final artwork of this poetic series, we can admire the shapes of the Goddess represented as per the representation of one of the main sources of inspiration for centuries: the Venus de Milo, presented in the Louvre and being a masterpiece in the museum from 1821.
Aphrodite Goddess of Love and Beauty ...
Hesiod - Theogony – Aphrodite (verse 180 – 190)
[...]But the genitals, as after first severing them with the steel, he had cast them into the heaving sea from the continent, so kept drifting long time up and down the deep, and all around kept rising a white foam from the immortal flesh; and in it a maiden was nourished; first she drew near divine Kythera, and thence came next to wave-washed Cyprus. Then forth stepped an awesome, beauteous goddess; and beneath her delicate feet the grass throve around: gods and men name her Aphrodite, the foam-sprung goddess, and fair-wreathed Kytherea—the first because she was nursed in foam, but Kytherea, because she touched at Kythera; and Cyprus-born, because she was born in wave-dashed Cyprus; and lover of smiles, because she emerged out of the genitals. [...]
NB: A play on the like-sounding forms meid- ‘smile’ and mēd(ea) ‘genitals’: philommeidēs means ‘lover of smiles’, while philommēdēs would mean ‘lover of genitals’.
Orphic Hymn to Aphrodite (#55)
Heavenly, smiling Aphrodite, praised in many hymns, sea-born, revered goddess of generation, you like the nightlong revel and you couple lovers at night, O scheming mother of Necessity. Everything comes from you; you have yoked the world, and you control all three realms. You give birth to all, to everything in heaven, upon the fruitful earth and in the depths of the sea, O venerable companion of Bacchos. You delight in festivities, O bridelike mother of the Erotes, O Persuasion whose joy is in the bed of love, secretive, giver of grace, visible and invisible, lovely-tressed daughter of a noble father, bridal feast companion of the gods, sceptered she-wolf, beloved and man-loving giver of birth and of life, with your maddening love-charms you yoke mortals and the many races of beasts to unbridled passion. Come, O goddess born in Cyprus, whether you are on Olympos, O queen, exulting in the beauty of your face, or you wander in Syria, country of fine frankincense, or, yet, driving your golden chariot in the plain, you lord it over Egypt’s fertile riverbed. Come, whether you ride your swan-drawn chariot over the sea’s billows, joying in the creatures of the deep as they dance in circles, or you delight in the company of the dark-faced nymphs on land, (as, light-footed, they frisk over the sandy beaches). Come, lady, even if you are in Cyprus that cherishes you, where fair maidens and chaste nymphs throughout the year sing of you, O blessed one, and of immortal, pure Adonis. Come, O beautiful and comely goddess; I summon you with holy words and pious soul.
Translation by A. Athanassakis
Things to know about "The Venus de Milo"
The Venus de Milo is presented in the Louvres, it is a statute of 2.04m height, in marble from Paros. It is dated to be a statute from 150/125 before JC and discovered in 1820, exhibited in the Louvres from 1821.
The left arm and a major part of the right arm are missing. During the excavation of the statute, other parts in marble were found, but at the time of the research the archaeologists rejected the idea that it belonged to the statute. Recently new debates have been opened and this theory is again discussed, including a potential attribute of Aphrodite (the apple).
The sculptor is not identified, a signature was found during the excavation, but the adequation of the marble block has never been proven and the signature disappeared around 1840-1850. Assumptions are made on the origin of the sculptor, but it remains still open. Art historians have determined that the Statute is a retrospective neoclassic from the Hellenistic period, inspired from the statutes of the sculptors Praxiteles (4th centuries before JC).
Debates are still on-going about similarities with the Venus of Capua exhibited in Naples and the Poseidon of Melos exhibited in the National Museum of Athens. All these debates and discussions offered a celebrity to the Venus de Milo, known worldwide.
The mystery and questions on where the statute comes from, who made it, for whom, the position of the Goddess (and then the message to convey) etc are the main source of her fame.
This statute is one of the most famous representations of the Goddess and has inspired a lot of artists. Paris being the capital of Beaux Arts in the 19th and beginning of 20th centuries, many artists were going to the Louvre to paint and study. The Statute inspired a lot of artists such like Cezanne, Dali, Rodin, Delacroix etc.
George Bardakas - Aphrodite as Darkness and Jealousy
George Bardakas invites us to discover the Goddess of Beauty and Love with a new perspective. On the opposite of Stella Sevastopoulos, the artist guides us through the darkness and jealousy created by the Goddess of Beauty and Love, where Beauty rhymes with Darkness and Love with Jealousy. The artist uses acrylic painting and mixed media, recycled materials, old frames, to give them a new life and reveal a world in three dimensions moved with passion. With a postmodern and black art style that invite us to revisit ancient myths with a modern and intense approach.
The artists guides us to revisit the myths of Aphrodite from the marriage with Hephaestus bounding her life to the God of Fire and Metallurgy, to her greatest love, a love at first sight with Adonis. This series exposes the consequences of Beauty and Love, with competition and jealousy moving side by side. The affair with Ares, God of War, then denounced by the jealous Helios... Hephaestus trapping the lovers to humiliate them, revenge that only leads to wounds and tears that will never heal. Persephone will compete with the Goddess, not for her Love but to gain the Love from Adonis, a pure Beauty among the humans .... A love that he will reserve for Aphrodite only, despite his death...
Aphrodite Goddess of Darkness and Jealousy ...
Zeus decided to marry Aphrodite to one of his sons, an Olympian God... The most beautiful Goddess, the most attractive to be married with the ugliest one, Hephaestus, God of fire, in charge of making weapons and military equipment for the Gods... A contrast between the harmonious and graceful Goddess and her husband... A marriage that binds them together, but not by mutual agreement.... This link bounding them did not bring happiness and joy, Aphrodite had four children, but not from her husband. From another love, with another God, one of the brothers of Hephaestus: Ares, God of war.
Every night, while Hephaestus was at work, the lovers met in the marital bed and expressed their love to each other ...... And one morning, when the sun rose, they were caught together again and Helios, the Sun, jealous of the privileged Ares, informed Hephaestus.
Wounded, the God of Fire decides to trap the lovers in a net and take them to Mount Olympus to denounce and humiliate them... Hoping to obtain compensation and the support of the other gods, Hephaestus fails and obtains nothing from this betrayal... Hephaestus, broken-hearted, can get no justice from the Goddess' behavior. Worse still, the naked body of the Goddess trapped in a net will only increase her power of attraction and arouse even more desire on the part of the other gods...
Ares is not the only love of Aphrodite, the Goddess had different affairs with other Gods and humans, most of the time it was only about sexual affairs, not about love. But one day, something happened....
A baby came to life, a pure and intense beauty, a love at first sight for the most beautiful being on earth. His mother, transformed into a tree of Myrtle could not take care about him, then Aphrodite decided to hide him and protect him, locked in a box, she went to the Underworld to give the box to Persephone, Queen of the Underworld.
The box was not supposed to be opened, but Persephone curious (as Pandora was), decided to open the box, and she also fell in love with the beautiful child, Adonis. This outrageous behavior towards Aphrodite will trigger the anger of the Goddess, and she will claim her ownership over the Adonis. Zeus, God of the Gods has been requested to make a decision... Their jealousy and willingness to get the Beauty and Love from this youth man was such, that Zeus decided to grant 1/3 of the year to Aphrodite, 1/3 to Persephone and 1/3 free of obligation....
Adonis was born of an incestuous relationship between his mother and father (who was also his grandfather). His mother, Myrrha, was cursed by Aphrodite and transformed herself into a tree to escape her father's wrath... Nevertheless, Aphrodite fell deeply in love with the youth ....
Natalia Kazirelova- Aphrodite as Diversity and Vanity
Natalia Kazirelova closes this reflection on Aphrodite with a focus on diversity and vanity. The artist offers us portraits of women using a mix technique, acrylic and collage, skilfully moving from one to the other while retaining a mystical and magical representation of these women.
This series of artworks reflects more than the diversity of Beauty, and it invites us to reflect on the vanity and the appeal of Beauty. The myth of the golden apple and the vain behavior of Goddesses to convince a human regardless any consequence. The wonderful Helena given in exchange of a prize, a Beauty that will cause a war of 10 years and the destruction of lives and a city. A competitive race for Beauty, won by Aphrodite, promising Beauty and Love while it will bring destruction and regrets. Would the Goddess Aphrodite does really know about Love?
The last artworks of this series are about the true Love (maybe unique?) of the Goddess, a love at first sight while he was a baby, Adonis. And as always it is not an easy way, the fate is tragic, the youth man is murdered and his blood creates an ephemeral flower, the anemone.
Aphrodite Goddess of Diversity and Vanity ...
Eris, Goddess of chaos, strife and discord
Eris not invited in the marriage of the King Peleus and the nymph Thetis, decides to bring the fruit of discord, and places on the table of the banquet a golden apple, with a message...
« To the fairest »
TROY from an historical standpoint
At the end of the 19th century, the German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann was convinced of the existence of Troy and travelled to Turkey, convinced that he would find its location. At this period, archaeologists and historians doubted the veracity of the Trojan War, and some speculated that it was just a story, not based on fact.
But Heinrich Schliemann was convinced otherwise, and his determination led to worldwide recognition of Hissarlik as the city of Troy. This hill is not just one city, it is 30 metres high, and 9 cities have been built on top of each other. In the competition for the Golden Apple, the famous city of Troy would be the sixth...
The golden apple
The golden apple, a reward addressed to the fairest triggered the interest of three Goddesses: Hera, Athena and Aphrodite. All three claimed their legitimacy over it. Zeus, God of the Gods, was solicited to make the decision ... Nevertheless, he decided not to express his opinion and remains neutral, he designated a human, a man, to make this decision.
This man it is Paris, prince of Troy.
Hera proposes the power, Athena the glory, Aphrodite the beautiful Helene. Aphrodite offers the most beautiful woman, Helena from Sparta, a woman already engaged in a marriage with Menelaus, king of Spare. Despite this situation, Aphrodite promises her Beauty and Love to Paris in exchange of the golden apple.
Paris accepts the offer from Aphrodite ... An offer not without consequence, for the love of beauty, for the vanity of beauty, a country will unite behind Menelaus and his brother Agamemnon, leading to the fall of Troy
After 10 years of war (the exact dates of the war are not known but the duration appears in Iliad from Homer), the fall of Troy and the death of Paris, Helena is back to Sparta with her husband Menelaus where they will have a second child.