Greek and Roman Myths in Art
 

 

 



Jupiter

 

 

 


see also:

The Odyssey of Homer


illustrations by John Flaxman

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Greek and Roman Myths in Art

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see also EXPLORATION (in Russian):

Homer  "Iliad "and "Odyssey"

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Apuleius "The Golden Asse"

illustrations by Jean de Bosschere and Martin Van Maele

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Longus

"The Pastorals, or the Loves of Daphnis and Chloe"

illustrations by Marc Chagall

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Greek and Roman Myths in Art
 

 


Satyrs, Sirens
 




Saturn
 

 

Francisco
Goya
1746-1828
Spain

Saturn Devouring His Children.
1820-1823
Museo del Prado, Madrid

 

 


Jupiter
 


Zeus - Jupiter

(Encyclopaedia Britannica)


in ancient Greek religion, chief deity of the pantheon, a sky and weather god who was identical with the Roman god Jupiter. His name clearly comes from that of the sky god Dyaus of the ancient Hindu Rigveda. Zeus was regarded as the sender of thunder and lightning, rain, and winds, and his traditional weapon was the thunderbolt. He was called the father (i.e., the ruler and protector) of both gods and men.

According to a Cretan myth that was later adopted by the Greeks, Cronus, king of the Titans, upon learning that one of his children was fated to dethrone him, swallowed his children as soon as they were born. But Rhea, his wife, saved the infant Zeus by substituting a stone wrapped in swaddling clothes for Cronus to swallow and hiding Zeus in a cave on Crete. There he was nursed by the nymph (or female goat) Amalthaea and guarded by the Curetes (young warriors), who clashed their weapons to disguise the baby’s cries. After Zeus grew to manhood he led a revolt against the Titans and succeeded in dethroning Cronus, perhaps with the assistance of his brothers Hades and Poseidon, with whom he then divided dominion over the world.

As ruler of heaven Zeus led the gods to victory against the Giants (offspring of Gaea and Tartarus) and successfully crushed several revolts against him by his fellow gods. According to the Greek poet Homer, heaven was located on the summit of Olympus, the highest mountain in Greece and the logical home for a weather god. The other members of the pantheon resided there with Zeus and were subject to his will. From his exalted position atop Mount Olympus Zeus was thought to omnisciently observe the affairs of men, seeing everything, governing all, and rewarding good conduct and punishing evil. Besides dispensing justice—he had a strong connection with his daughter Dike (Justice)—Zeus was the protector of cities, the home, property, strangers, guests, and supplicants.

Zeus was well known for his amorousness—a source of perpetual discord with his wife, Hera—and he had many love affairs with both mortal and immortal women. In order to achieve his amorous designs, Zeus frequently assumed animal forms, such as that of a cuckoo when he ravished Hera, a swan when he ravished Leda, or a bull when he carried off Europa. Notable among his offspring were the twins Apollo and Artemis, by the Titaness Leto; Helen and the Dioscuri, by Leda of Sparta; Persephone, by the goddess Demeter; Athena, born from his head after he had swallowed the Titaness Metis; Hephaestus, Hebe, Ares, and Eileithyia, by his wife, Hera; Dionysus, by the goddess Semele; and many others.

Though regarded by Greek religionists everywhere as omnipotent and the head of the pantheon, Zeus’s very universality tended to reduce his importance compared to that of powerful local divinities like Athena and Hera. Although statues of Zeus Herkeios (Guardian of the House) and altars of Zeus Xenios (Hospitable) graced the forecourts of houses, and though his mountaintop shrines were visited by pilgrims, Zeus did not have a temple at Athens until the late 6th century bc, and even his temple at Olympia postdated that of Hera.

In art Zeus was represented as a bearded, dignified, and mature man of stalwart build; his most prominent symbols were the thunderbolt and the eagle.
 

 


Frans Floris
1516-1570
Netherlands
Gods of Olympus.

 


Giulio Romano
1492-1546
Italy
Gods of Olympus.

 

Paul
Bril
1554-1626
Belgium

Hebe with the Eagle of  Jupiter.
1610

 


Jacob Jordaens
1593-1678
Netherlands
Education of Jupiter.

 

Lovis
Corinth
1858-1925
Germany

Young Zeus.

 

Dosso
Dossi
1490-1542
Italy

Jupiter Painting Butterflies, Mercury and Virtue.
1522-24

 

Jean-Auguste
Ingres
1780-1867
France

Jupiter and Thetis.
1811 

 


Nicolas Poussin
1594-1665
France
The Nurture of Jupiter.

 

Gustave
Moreau
1826-1898
France

Jupiter and Semele.

 

Adam
Elsheimer
1578-1610
Germany

Jupiter and Mercury at Philemon and Baucis.
1609-10
Gemeldegalerie, Dresden

 

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