Couple in love from classical mythology

As February the 14th, St Valentine’s Day, approaches we would like to show a ‘couple in love’ from classical mythology.


 

Psyche and Cupid

 

Psyche was a princess who was so beautiful that she almost overshadowed Aphrodite (called by her Latin name, Venus).  Her admirers worshiped  her and made offerings to her instead of Aphrodite, Goddess of love and beauty.  Enraged, Aphrodite sent her son Eros (called by his Latin name, Cupid) to make Psyche fall in love with the most ugliest man possible.  However, Cupid was unable to complete his task, and instead he fell in love with Psyche himself!

 

Psyche and Cupid

Psyche and Cupid by Canova. Neoclassical sculpture.
©Ronald Sheridan


 

Orpheus and Eurydice

 

Orpheus was a musician and poet, charming the Gods and Goddesses, reducing/calming down wild animals to peace by his singing on the lyre.  His beautiful wife,  Eurydice, died bitten by a serpent/snake on their marriage. Desperate Orpheus won Hades’ (God of Underworld) permission and descended to the Underworld to bring back his wife to the living world. There was one condition.  Orpheus must not look back at Eurydice until they safely reached the world of light.  But he couldn’t obey the prohibition…..  that he shouldn’t look back….

 

Greek relief of Eurydice and Orpheus

Orpheus, Eurydice and Hermes. Greek bas-relief. 5th century BC.
Musee du Louvre, Paris
©Ronald Sheridan


 

Theseus and Ariadne

 

Theseus is a hero in Greek mythology.  He is not only strong and courageous but also intelligent and wise. By order of King Minos of Crete, the Athenians were forced to send a tribute of seven young men and seven maidens every nine years to be devoured by the monster called the Minotaur.  In order to end the sacrifice of the Athenians, Theseus volunteered to go along as one of the seven youths.  Ariadne is the daughter of King Minos of Crete. She fell in love with Theseus and helped him giving instructions as to how to kill the monster and find his way out of the labyrinth. After the success Theseus sailed back to Athens, taking Ariadne with him …..

 

Theseus and Ariadne

Theseus and Ariadne. Jug from Afrati (Aphrati, Crete), 675-640 BC.
Archaeological Museum of Heraklion, Crete.
©Ronald Sheridan