Posts Tagged ‘Aphrodite’s tasks to Psyche’

►Art / Mythology: “The Loggia of Psyche” at The Villa Farnesina

(Frescoes Based on the Myth Of Eros and Psyche):

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“The Loggia of Psyche” (Villa Farnesina, Rome. 16th Century).

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The Villa Farnesina is placed in the Trastevere area of Rome on the Via della Lungara along the river Tiber.

It was designed by Baldassare Perluzzi between 1508 and 1512 for the banker, Agostino Chigi who was in love with his mistress Francesca Ordeaschi to whom he finally married in 1519.

After Chigi, the villa was purchased by the Farnese family and connected by a bridge across the Tiber to the huge Palazzo Farnese on the opposite bank.

The walls related to the Loggia of Phsyche were frescoed by several noted artists, most importantly Raphael, but it’s the ceiling that illustrates Psyche and Eros’ story.  

Scholars suggest that the story cycle alludes to Chigi’s own life, and his recent marriage.

Although the preparatory drawings and the general conception of the stories are by Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (also known as Raphael (1483/1520), the bulk of the painting was carried out by his pupils, notably Giovanni da Udine (who painted the rich plant festoons of the frame) with the collaboration of Giulio Romano, Raffaellino del Colle and Gianfrancesco Penni. 

Two frescoes on the ceiling depict incidents in the story of Eros and Psyche which took place in heaven.

Eros (Roman equivalent: Cupid) fell in love with Psyche and he abducted her.

Then, they had sexual relationships in total darkness because Eros had forbidden her to look at him.

As Aphrodite (Roman equivalent: Venus) was jealous of Psyche’s Beauty, she imprisoned his son, Eros, in her palace and forbade her to see him. At the end, Aphrodite accepted a deal, telling Psyche that she had to accomplish four tasks in order to see her beloved again.

After Psyche had undergone many difficult trials, Zeus made her immortal, and allowed her to marry Eros.

The Eros and Psyche myth corpus might be considered an  allegory for the ascent of the soul to immortality through love (especially love of beauty), based on Plato’s dialogue “Symposium” through Diotima’s “Ladder of Love”. 

By going through it, one will ascend from loving particular kinds of beauty to loving Beauty itself, from which all beautiful things derive their nature.

According to this analogy, Beauty is related to Love. Besides, Beauty itself is a Form or Idea, which  always exists, not coming into being or ceasing to be, nor increasing nor diminishing. Thus, Beauty will not appear in certain bodies in particular: it will appear in itself and by itself, independent of everything else. 

 

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►”Loggia di Psyche” (Sequential Gallery):

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Venus and Cupid

“Venus and Cupid” by Raphael and collaborators (1517-18).

•In this fresco, Aphrodite (Roman equivalent: Venus) shows her son Eros (Roman equivalent Cupid) who is the young woman who was defying her own Beauty. According to the original version of the myth, Aphrodite, The Goddess of Beauty, asked Eros to poison men’ souls in order to kill off their desire for Psyche.

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"Cupid and the Three Graces" by Giulio Romano (1517-18).

“Cupid and the Three Graces” by Raphael’s collaborator Giulio Romano (1517-18).

•Here we can The Three Graces on the clouds listening as young Eros relates the story of Psyche and his mother Aphrodite’s initial opposition – jealous of Psyche’s beauty – to mortal Psyche as his lover and eventual wife, as Apuleius originally tells in “The Golden Ass”.

The Three Graces were also known in Greek Mythology as Charites and they were goddesses related to charm, beauty, and creativity.

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Venus (Aphrodite), Ceres (Demeter) and Juno (Hera) by Raphael with Giovanni da Udine's collaboration.

Venus (Aphrodite), Ceres (Demeter) and Juno (Hera) by Raphael with Giovanni da Udine’s collaboration. (1517-18).

•This detail from the vault of the Loggia shows Venus (Greek equivalent: Aphrodite, Goddess of Love and Beauty), Ceres,(Greek equivalent: Demeter, Goddess of the Harvest) and Juno (Greek equivalent: Hera, Zeus’ wife and sister and Goddess of Marriage and Childbirth ).

In this spandrel the group of three goddesses is divided.

Venus has learned of the secret affair and, driven by wrath, is seeking support from her female friends. But they both show little sympathy for her wrath and laments.

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Venus on the Chariot Pulled by Doves

“Venus on the Chariot Pulled by Doves” by Raphael and collaborators (1517-18).

•In this spandrel we can see Goddess Aphrodite (Roman equivalent: Venus), on a chariot and pulled by Doves. The chariot might be related with the allegory of ascendant Beauty, whilst the doves were specific attributes of the Goddess.

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Psyche Brings a Vessel up to Venus/Aphrodite by Giulio Romano (1517-18).

“Psyche Brings a Vessel up to Venus/Aphrodite” by Giulio Romano (1517-18).

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“Venus and Psyche” by Raphael and collaborators (1517-18).

“Venus and Psyche” by Raphael and collaborators (1517-18).

•This two frescoes are linked to the fourth task ordered to Psyche by Aphrodite.

As the narrative relates of her ordeals commanded by Aphrodite, Psyche is taken to Aphrodite carrying the vessel she thinks holds Persephone’s beauty but actually holds deadly “Sleep of the Innermost Darkness, the night of Styx”.

Psyche opens the box desiring to be beautiful for Eros and restored to him. In doing so, disobeying Aphrodite, she swoons toward death, needing to be revived by Eros.

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Cupid and Jupiter (on the left). Psyche and Jupiter (on the right).

Cupid and Jupiter (on the left). Psyche and Jupiter (on the right). By Raphael and collaborators (1517-18).

•In these frescoes we can see Zeus, the ruler of the Olympian gods (Roman equivalent: Jupiter) with Eros (Roman equivalent: Cupid) on the left and Psyche on the right.

The Father of Gods advises them. His attitude seems to be more wrathful towards Eros, as he is holding his chin while he is staring at him. By contrast, he looks at Psyche with an indulgent and affable gesture.

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Mercury

“Mercury” (Hermes) by Raphael and collaborators (1517-18).

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"Mercury Brings Psyche up to Olympus" by Raphael and collaborators (1517-18).

“Mercury Brings Psyche up to Olympus” by Raphael and collaborators (1517-18).

•In these two frescoes we can see Hermes (Roman equivalent: Mercury) who was the messenger of the gods and guide of dead souls to the Underworld. Hermes was also well known for performing duties for Father of Gods.

As a matter of fact, Zeus appreciated Hermes’ wits highly and always asked for Hermes’ assistance throughout his decisions. 

In Apuleius’ Eros and Psyche story, Hermes even carries Psyche to heaven and the marriage banquet, just as seen in the first frescoe below.

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Wedding Banquet of Cupid and Psyche

“Wedding Banquet of Cupid and Psyche” by Raphael and collaborators (1517-18).

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“The Council of Gods” by Raphael and collaborators (1517-18).

“The Council of Gods” by Raphael and collaborators (1517-18).

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“Wedding Banquet of Cupid and Psyche” and “The Council of the Gods” (Detail). By Rapahel and collaborators (1517-18).

“Wedding Banquet of Cupid and Psyche” and “The Council of the Gods” (Detail). By Rapahel and collaborators (1517-18).

•The conclusion of the Psyche and Eros story takes place in two broad format paintings in the vault panel.

Raphael depicts the council of the gods in which Zeus (Roman equivalent: Jupiter) decides to accept Psyche and Hermes (Roman equivalent: Mercury) gives her the elixir of immortality.

Then the wedding is celebrated. The groupings of figures spread out in a lively way. The communal life of the gods is unfolded in a characterization of their all human, too human feelings.-

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►Paul Hindemith, “Amor und Psyche”, Villa Farnesina, Raphael:

[Note: The first fresco appearing in the video is not part of the ceiling frescoes composing “The Loggia of Psyche”. Its name is “The Triumph of Galatea” and it was completed about 1514 by Raphael for the Villa Farnesina].

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►Links Post:
http://www.wga.hu/html_m/r/raphael/5roma/4a/
http://comminfo.rutgers.edu/~mjoseph/CP/ICP.html
http://www.bluffton.edu/~sullivanm/farnesina/farnesina.html
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Loggia_of_Psyche_(Villa_Farnesina,_Rome)
http://comminfo.rutgers.edu/~mjoseph/CP/loggia.html
http://www.sparknotes.com/philosophy/symposium/section11.rhtml
http://www.electrummagazine.com/2012/06/the-villa-farnesina-jewel-of-renaissance-rome/

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►Greek Mythology: “Eros and Psyche”:

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“The abduction of Psyche” by William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1894).

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The myth of Eros and Psyche was originally a story by Apuleius, written in the 2nd century BC.

The Greek name for “Butterfly” is “Psyche”, which also means “Soul”. 

Hence Psyche represented the soul, being as she was an extremely beautiful Princess from Sicily.

Being jealous due to men’s admiration for Psyche, Goddess Aphrodite asked her son, Eros, to poison men’ souls in order to kill off their desire for Psyche.

But when he intended in vain to do that, Eros also fell in love with Psyche.

As Psyche was single, her parents became so desperate because of their daughter’s destiny and had no choice but to ask for an oracle, hoping that they would manage to solve the mystery and give a husband to their daughter.

The oracle said that Psyche would marry an ugly beast whose face she would never be able to see, and he would wait for her at the top of the mountain.

Up on the rock, it turned out that the God Eros, invisible in that case, was waiting for Psyche in order to avenge his mother. But instead of punishing Psyche, he unavoidably fell in love with her.  

So he asked the west wind, Zephyr, to waft her to his palace.

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“Psyche Honoured by the People” by Luca Giordano. Series of twelve scenes (1692–1702).

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“Psyche Lifted Up by Zephyrs” by Pierre-Paul Prud’hon (1800).

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Thus Psyche was abducted (1) and, once in the palace, the servants told her that new husband, will come to visit her that evening. 

Eros and Psyche consummated their love that night, though in total darkness because Eros has forbidden her to look at him.  

Hence, Psyche’ sisters persuaded her that her lover was an ugly beast (2) who would try to kill her, so she might have to do the first movement.

With the oil lamp and knife in her hands, Psyche one night was ready for murder, but when she enlightened the face of her beast-husband, she saw the beautiful God Eros. Caught by surprise, she spilled the oil on his face.

Eros woke up and flew away telling Psyche that she had betrayed him and that they would never be together again.

Psyche started searching for her lost love, and finally was suggested to beg Eros’ mother, Aphrodite to see him because she had previously imprisoned his son in her palace. Even though, she accepted Psyche’s request, telling her that she had to accomplish some tasks in order to achieve her goal.

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Cupid and Psyche

“Cupid and Psyche” by Jacques-Louis David (1817).

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Psyche's Wedding

“Psyche’s Wedding” by Edward Burne-Jones (1895).

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“Amor (Eros) and Psyche” by Jacopo Zucchi (1589).

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The first task was a matter of sorting a huge pile of mixed grains into separate piles.

Eros had secretly arranged for an army of ants to separate the piles.  So she could finally do it. Aphrodite, returning the following morning, accused Psyche of having had help, as indeed she had.

The next task involved getting a snippet of Golden Fleece (3) from each one of a special herd of sheep that lived across a nearby river.  The Gods of River or Potamoi (4) advised Psyche to wait until the sheep sought shade from the midday sun.  As the animals were sleeping, they didn’t attack her. And Psyche could fulfill Aphrodite’s second task. But, Aphrodite, once again, accused her of having had help.

For Psyche’s third task, she was given a crystal vessel in which she had to collect the black water spewed by the source of the rivers of the Underworld Styx and Cocytus (5). During her attempt to accomplish the task, she was daunted by the foreboding air of the place and dragons slithering through the rocks. Fortunately, Zeus took pity on her, and sent an eagle to battle the dragons and bring the water for her.

After accomplishing these three tasks, Psyche had to face the last and most difficult one. This fourth task was to go to the Hades (Underworld) and bring the box with The Elixir of Beauty (6) to Aphrodite, who ordered her not to open the box.

She got the elixir from hands of Persephone, Hades’ wife and Demeter’s daughter.

But Psyche was curious and opened the box (7)Morpheus (the god of sleep and dreams) had introduced a spell on it, and because of that reason, she fell completely asleep (8). 

As Eros missed his lover Psyche, he asked Zeus to help him again. And so did the ruler of the Olympian gods, who woke up Psyche from her everlasting sleep, making her immortal. 

Finally, Psyche and Eros were reunited, and even Aphrodite acknowledged Psyche’s victory.

The God of Love and the Goddesses of the Soul lived happily together and even had a daughter, whose name was Hedone (Goddess of Pleasure).

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“Psyché aux enfers” by Eugène Ernest Hillemacher (1865).

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Psyche Obtaining the Elixir of Beauty from Proserpine by Charles-Joseph Natoire (France, Nîmes and Castel Gandolfo, 1700-1777) France, circa 1735

“Psyche Obtaining the Elixir of Beauty from Proserpine” by Charles-Joseph Natoire (1735).

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“Psyche” by John Reinhard Weguelin (1890).

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“Cupid and Psyche” by Anthony van Dyck (1639).

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“Cupid and Psyche” by Jean-Pierre Saint-Ours (1843).

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•References (Corresponding to Numbers in Blue above):

(1) Psyche’s abduction by Eros remind us of Persephone’s abduction by Hades.

(2) In this sense, this myth might have similarities with the tale “The Beauty and the Beast”.

(3) In Greek mythology, the Golden Fleece is the fleece of the gold-hair winged ram. The fleece is a symbol of authority and kingship.

(4) The Greek Gods of river were known as Potamoi. They are the fathers of Naiads and the brothers of the Oceanids, and as such, the sons of Oceanus and Tethys

(5) The rivers Styx, Cocytus, Phlegethon, Acheron, Lethe all converge at the center of the underworld on a great marsh, which is also sometimes called the Styx.

(6) The Elixir of Beauty was potion that Persephone, The Queen of The Underworld owned.

(7) In this sense, this myth reminds us of the famous Pandora’s box. Zeus had given Pandora a box after she married Epimetheus. As Pandora couldn’t avoid her curiosity, she disobeyed and opened a box. As she did, she unleashed all the evils known to mankind.

(8) These facts made me think of “Sleeping Beauty”.

• For an overall, description of the Gods/Goddesses appearing on this myth, click here.

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►Links Post:
http://www.greekmyths-greekmythology.com/psyche-and-eros-myth/
http://greece.mrdonn.org/greekgods/erosandpsyche.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Styx
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Fleece
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potamoi
http://ancienthistory.about.com/cs/grecoromanmyth1/a/mythslegends_4.htm
http://ancienthistory.about.com/od/cupideros/tp/010811-Cupid-And-Psyche.htm
http://www.madelinemiller.com/myth-of-the-week-psyche-and-eros/
http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/beautybeast/other.html

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►Last but not Least: Five Awards: 

►Here are the Award Rules, which are the same for all the awards:

1) The nominee shall display the respective logo on her/his blog.

•Note: To get the logo just click on the one which corresponds among the ones appearing in the Gallery below.

2) The nominee shall nominate ten (10)  bloggers she/he admires, by linking to their blogs and informing them about it.

►Aquí están las reglas comunes a todos los Premios:

1) Ubicar el logo del Premio que le corresponda en su blog. par

2) Nominar a otros quince (15) bloggers, enlazando a sus respectivos blogs e informándolos de la nominación.

•Nota: Para obtener el logo, hacer click en la imagen que corresponda al mismo, de entre todas las que aparecen debajo.

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I) One Lovely Blogger Award: My blog has been nominated for this award by Inese from Inesemj photography, a mesmerizing blog with wonderful photos, mainly from UK’s landscapes, and mostly from beautiful Ireland.

Also a blogger friend, Non Smoking Lady Bug, from The Happy Quitter nominated me for the same award. Her blog is cool. Some of the categories she writes about are Ex Smoker Humour, Life in General and Quit Smoking… (Which, by the way reminds me I need to put aside the nicotine)….

•This Award requires to point out seven facts about you (nominee). Thus, I will very briefly add them here just to respect the bureaucratic procedure. But  if your blog was nominated you may consider yourself dismissed without prejudice 🙂

1. My full name is María Pedemonte Velázquez. 2. I live in Buenos Aires Argentina. 3. In a town called San Fernando. 4. My argentine ID has eight numbers. 5. Four of those eight numbers are number six. 6. Two of those numbers are number two. 7. Two of those numbers are nine… (Now guess my ID!) 😀

►My nominees for the One Lovely Blogger Award are:

1. The Tropical Flowering Zone 2. Uncle’s Tree House 3. T Ibara Photo 4. John Poet Flanagan 5. Stuff Jeff Reads 6. LaVagabonde 7. Graffiti Lux and Murals 8. Emociones Encadenadas 9. Sue Slaght 10. Avian101.

II) Black Wolf Blogger Award: I have received this award from José Cervera, who hosts a blog in spanish called Ritual de las Palabras (Ritual of Words). Take a peak using the translator. He often posts great reviews of books.

►My nominees for the Black Wolf Blogger Award are:

1. Author Miranda Stone 2. JeriWB Author and Editor 3. A Solas con Caronte 4. Field of Thorns 5.Shehanne Moore 6. Poetic Parfait 7. En Humor Arte 8.Inesemj photography 9. Kev’s Blog 10. Dreamwalker’s Sanctuary

III) Premio Dardos: He sido nominada para este Premio desde Jag, A Solas con Caronte, Emociones Encadenadas y El Beso en el EspejoLos cuatro excelentes blogs, claro, en castellano.  

Jag es un blog con geniales relatos breves, cuya lectura recomiendo.

En A solas con Caronte me he encontrado con muy buenos relatos breves y otras misceláneas que conviene no perderse.

Gema, desde Emociones Encadenadas nos ofrece grandes posts. El nombre del blog es elocuente, pues las palabras en este caso acarrean sentimientos y siempre es un gusto detenerse a leer este blog.

El Beso en el Espejo, por su parte, es un  muy buen blog, con primacía literaria. Sus contenidos incluyen once capítulos de una novela intempestiva, citas y poemas.

►Mis nominados para el Premio Dardos son:

1.Chesterton Blog 2. Palabras Sosegadas 3. Alex Kiaw 4. Leire’s Room 5. Rey de Reyes 6. Jarafuel 7. Ser un Ser de Luz 8. Alpuymuz 9. Rotze Mardini 10. La Cosa Gris.

IV & V) Liebster Award & Versatile Blogger Award: Estos premios me fueron otorgados, nuevamente, desde el blog amigo A Solas con Caronte, espacio virtual que recomiendo para echar una vistazo primero y luego, definitivamente, atreverse a explorar.

I have received these two Awards from the blog  A Solas con Caronte (Alone with Charon). I recommend this blog to take a peak, firstly and then definitely, to dare to explore it. The blog is, of course in spanish, but… who is impeding you to use the translator, anyways?.

►Mis nominados para el Liebster Award son / My nominees for the Liebster Award are:

1. The Happy Quitter 2. Inesemj photography 3. A Suffolk Lane 4. El rincón de los Noctambulos 5. Ritual de las Palabras 6.El Beso en el Espejo 7. Words in the Light 8. Pambrittain 9. Talker Blogger 10. The Muscleheaded Blog

►Mis nominados para el Versatile Blogger Award son / My nominees for the Versatile Blogger Award are:

1. Cindy Knoke 2. Cindy Bruchman 3. Being Better 4. The Muscleheaded Blog 5. Jag 6. I lost my Lens Cap 7. Isaspi 8. Living with my Ancestors 9. Bluebutterfliesandme 10. Priorhouse

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►Amy Mac Donald: “Spark”:

(A song by this great scottish singer. Check out Lyrics here)

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Thank you very much for dropping by. Best wishes!, Aquileana 🙂

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