Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Judgement of Paris

German painter Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472–1553)

The Judgement of Paris (ca. 1530)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Diana hunting

British painter John Byam Shaw (1872-1919)

Diana hunting (1901)

Sunday, May 24, 2009


British painter Wright Barker (1864-1941)


Here Circe is more the queen of her idyllic paradise, where she lived in peace with her wild animals. She’s half naked and has a lyre in one hand. So she’s probably receiving Odysseus, who came to rescue his men.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Beautiful Helen

British painter Anthony Frederick Augustus Sandys (1829—1904)

Helen of Troy (1867)

The Pre-Raphaelite painter Frederick Augustus Sandys shows Helen here as a spoiled and defiant princess.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


French painter Eugène Ferdinand Victor Delacroix (1798-1863)

Medea furiosa (1838)

Thursday, May 14, 2009


British painter Charles Napier Kennedy (1852-1898)


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Pandora's box

British painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828–1882)

Pandora (1879)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Shower of Gold

Italian painter Tiziano Vecelli (ca.1488-1576)

Danae and the Shower of Gold (1553)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Circe the Sorceress

German painter Franz von Stuck (1863-1928)

Tilla Durieux as Circe (ca. 1913)

Circe was the daughter of Helios. Sometimes she’s called a goddess, sometimes a nymph or a sorceress. But it’s clear that her power was more witchcraft than divine. She lived in a great mansion in a forest on the island of Aeaea together with a lot of wild animals like lions and wolves.

Odysseus sent some m of his crew ashore on that island to search water and food. Maybe they slaughtered some of Circes beloved animals. Finally the men discovered the palace of Circe and were invited by her to have wine and food. Because the wine was poisoned all the men but one were transformed into swine, which signifies that they behaved like this before.

The only one who had escaped went back to the ship to warn the others who had stayed behind. When Odysseus went to Circe’s palace to rescue his men, he was intercepted by the god Hermes, who gave him a magic herb to protect himself from Circe's potion. So with the help and the advices of Hermes Odysseus not only achieved to rescue his men, furthermore he became the lover of Circe and stayed for one year with Circe on that island. Later she helped him to reach his home.

In the iconography of art Circe is sometimes a kind of nature goddess, who wants to protect her animals from the wild intruders. But most times she has the part of the seductive witch. Where Eva is offering the fateful apple, Circe has her potion.

It’s clear that with the beginning of women emancipation that last part was the more interesting as it can be seen on this painting by Franz Stuck. Here we have a modern aggressive women who affronts her adversary.