Ten Stars of the Eagle's Harp

Denise Weaver Ross

Albuquerque, United States

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Artist's Description

Mixed media on paper
40 H x 26 W
© Denise Weaver Ross, 2014

Layer One – The background layer is based on the image of the Lyra constellation as a turtle. According to Greek myth, Hermes invented the lyre after walking along the banks of the Nile and hearing the sounds that came from the wind playing across tendons which were stretched across a tortoise shell.

Layer Two – Layer two is based the star map from The Hevelius Firmamentum published in 1690. According to Greek tradition Zeus sent a vulture to carry the Lyra to the heavens after the mob killed the grieving Orpheus because he would not play music. (Although we now see this bird as an eagle.) This star map also shows Leda the swan constellation as well.

Layers Three – The next layer is based on the Hercules star map in the Celestial Atlas by Alexander Jamieson from 1982 in which Lyra is included as a harp with the bird carrying it. I especially loved the tree of golden apples Hercules is carrying.

Layer Four – The final layer is based a modern star map and also added the 10s in the corners.

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