Orpheus Looks Back

RC deWinter

Fairfield, United States

Artist's Description

© 2009 RC deWinter ~ All Rights Reserved

Study of the bust of Orpheus; part of a larger piece of statuary.

Orpheus is Greek mythology’s premier poet and musician, the mortal son of the Muse Calliope. It was said his music was so beautiful it caused trees and stones to move. He was also also one of the Argonauts. It was his music that saved the ship from crashing into the Sirens’ deadly rocks.

Orpheus, married to Eurydice, was devoted to her. When she was bitten by a poisonous snake and died, Orpheus descended into the Underworld to retrieve her. His music so charmed Hades that he allowed Eurydice to be taken back to the living, with one stipulation: Orpheus must not look back at her while leading her above-ground.

Alas, just before ascending into the realm of mortals, Orpheus forgot the stricture. Glancing over his shoulder, he saw his beloved Eurydice slipping back down into the darkness of the realm of the dead.

Orpheus was so desolated he avoided all women and generally lived apart from other people. He was attacked and killed as he sat under a tree, singing, by the Maenads.

Shot in April 2003.


Artwork Comments

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