Sculpture Saturday *6

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Apollo and Hyacinth by Stefano Ricci

Hyacinthus was a beautiful Spartan youth, beloved by the god Apollo.  As the good Spartan he was, Hyacinthus loved athletics, and one day the two decided to practice throwing the discus.  Apollo went first, sending the disc flying up to “scatter the clouds” as Ovid says.  Hyacinthus ran laughing after it, thinking to catch the disc, but instead it hit him in the head, killing him.  Ovid has a beautiful passage about Apollo holding the dying youth, desperately trying to use his skill with medicine to keep him alive.  But even the mighty god of healing could not save the one he loved.

In honour of his lover, Apollo makes a flower spring up from Hyacinthus’ blood.  Confusingly, this flower isn’t actually what we today call a hyacinth.  Most sources agree that it was most likely an iris or a larkspur, since the myth tells us that Apollo writes on the flower the sound of his grief (Ai, Ai).

The Death of Hyacinthos by Jean Broc

In a second variant of the myth, Hyacinthus’ death is actually a murderous crime of passion.  Turns out that not only was Apollo in love with Hyacinthus, but so was Zephyrus, the west wind.  Seeing how attached Apollo and Hyacinthus were, he grew jealous, and in an old-fashioned twist on “If I can’t have him no one can” he deliberately blows the discus into Hyacinthus’ path, killing him.  This version emphasises the terrifying pettiness of the gods, and the dangers of mixing with them, even if–especially if–they love you.  Like nearly all ancient love affairs between mortals and divinities, it ends in tragedy for the mortal.

Text by Madeline Miller

Sculpture Saturday *3

milkboys Art, Sculpture Saturday 11 Comments

sculpturesaturday003

Priapus, son of Dionysus & Aphrodite. Tripod with young ithyphallic Satyrs as legs. Bronze. 1st century CE. From the sacrarium of the complex of Julia Felix in Pompeii. Found June 15, 1755. Shown in the National Archaeological Museum, Naples.

 

Sculpture Saturday *1

milkboys Art, Sculpture Saturday 12 Comments

statuesaturday001This is Sebastian. A statue inspired by Greco-Roman depictions of the youth Antinous, the myth of Narcissus, and the selfie. It’s made out of bronze and created using 3D printing technology. The version above was done by Casey Spooner with 23 carat gold leaf and semen. The whole thing is baded on a real life model as you can see in the video below: