Edited, May 9, 2012
I have noticed in mythology many abductions and rapes of women. Mythology or religion shapes our view of reality and how we view women and men. Furthermore, mythology and religion provide the guidance what behaviors are acceptable or not, giving us a moral code.
If gods can do it……
We have already seen Zeus who seduced Leda, Danae, and Europa.
The Judgement of Paris
At about this time the wedding of Peleus and Thetis, the hero and the sea-goddess, was celebrated on
When the day came,
After that, grey-eyed Athene approached him, drawing near and bending down, so that he might look into the magical depths of her eyes. She promised him victory in all battles, together with glory and wisdom - the three most precious gifts a man could have. This time
Then it was the turn of Aphrodite. Hanging back a little, she tilted her head so that her hair fell forward, concealing a blush on her face. Then she loosened the girdle of her robe and beneath it,
So it was that
The Judgement of Paris" by Lucas Cranach the Elder
Rubens The Judgment of Paris
The Judgment of Paris, The Hague, Geneva and Brussels contest for the Golden Apple of the League of Nations
The character and nature of the Charites (Three Graces) are sufficiently expressed by the names they bear: they were conceived as the goddesses who gave festive joy and enhanced the enjoyments of life by refinement and gentleness. Gracefulness and beauty in social intercourse are therefore attributed to them. (Horat. Carm. iii. 21, 22; Pind. Ol. xiv. 7, &c.) They are mostly described as being in the service or attendance of other divinities, as real joy exists only in circles where the individual gives up his own self and makes it his main object to afford pleasure to others.
They were often represented as the companions of other gods, such as Hera, Hermes, Eros, Dionysus, Aphrodite, the Horae, and the Muses.
DAUGHTERS OF ZEUS & EURYNOME
Hesiod, Theogony 907 (Greek epic C8th or 7th B.C.) :
"And Eurynome (Broad Pasture), the daughter of Okeanos (Oceanus), beautiful in form, bare him [Zeus] three fair-cheeked Kharites (Charites, Graces), Aglaia (Aglaea, Glory, Beauty), and Euphrosyne (Merriment), and lovely Thaleia (Thalia, Festivity), from whose eyes as they glanced flowed love that unnerves the limbs: and beautiful is their glance beneath their brows."
DAUGHTERS OF DIONYSUS
The Anacreontea, Fragment 38, Vol. Greek Lyric II) (C5th B.C.) :
"Let us be merry and drink wine and sing of Bacchus . . . thanks to him Methe (Drunkenness) was brought forth, the Charisties, Grace) was born, Lupa (Pain) takes rest and Ania (Trouble) goes to sleep."
Nonnus, Dionysiaca 16. 130 (Greek epic C5th A.D.) :
"[Dionysos:] ‘I will present you with the Kharites (Charites, Graces) of divine Orkhomenos (Orchomenus) . . . my daughters, whom I will take from Aphrodite.’"
Homer, Iliad 14. 231 (Greek epic C8th B.C.) :
"Hera answered him [Hypnos god of sleep]: ‘. . . I will give you one of the younger (hoploterai) (Charites, Graces) for you to marry, and she shall be called you lady; Pasithea, since all your days you have loved her forever.’
So she spoke, and Hypnos was pleased and spoke to her in answer: ‘Come then! Swear it to me on Styx' ineluctable water. With one hand take hold of the prospering earth, with the other take hold of the shining salt sea, so that all the undergods who gather about Cronus may be witnesses to us. Swear that you will give me one of the younger Kharites, Pasithea, the one whom all my days I have longed for.’"
Jacques-Louis David, Mars Disarmed By Venus And The Three Graces
The Three Graces, Edward Coley Burne-Jones
|In Greek mythology, Helen of Troy, also known as Helen of Sparta, was the daughter of Zeus and Leda (or Nemesis), daughter of King Tyndareus, wife of Menelaus and sister of Castor, Polydeuces and Clytemnestra. Her abduction by Paris brought about the Trojan War.|
In most sources, including the Iliad and the Odyssey, Helen is the daughter of Zeus and Leda, the wife of the Spartan king Tyndareus. Euripides' play Helen, written in the late 5th century BC, is the earliest source to report the most familiar account of Helen's birth: that, although her putative father was Tyndareus, she was actually Zeus' daughter. In the form of a swan, the king of gods was chased by an eagle, and sought refuge with Leda. The swan gained her affection, and the two mated. Leda then produced an egg, from which Helen emerged. The First Vatican Mythographer introduces the notion that two eggs came from the union: one containing Castor and Pollux; one with Helen and Clytemnestra. Nevertheless, the same author earlier states that Helen, Castor and Pollux were produced from a single egg. Pseudo-Apollodorus states that Leda had intercourse with both Zeus and Tyndareus the night she conceived Helen.
Helen and Paris, Louvre
Tintoretto, Rape of Helen
Francesco Primaticcio, Rape of Helena
Helen of Troy, Evelyn de Morgan
Rape of Lucretia
Luca Giordano, The Rape of Lucretia
Simon Vouet, Lucretia And Tarquin
Sodoma, Death of Lucretia
Cleopatra VII Philopator, known to history as Cleopatra, was the last pharaoh of Ancient Egypt.
Jacob Jordaens, Cleopatra's Feast
Eugène Delacroix - Cleopatra and the Peasant
Lawrence Alma-Tadema - Antony and Cleopatra
The story of David's seduction of Bathsheba, told in 2 Samuel 11, is omitted in Chronicles. The story is told that David, while walking on the roof of his palace, saw Bathsheba, who was then the wife of Uriah, bathing. He immediately desired her and later made her pregnant.
Paulo Veronese, Bathsheba at Bath
Artemisia Gentileschi - Bathsheba
Paul Cézanne - Bathsheba 2
Susanna or Shoshana included in the Book of Daniel (as chapter 13) by the Roman Catholic and Eastern Ortodox churches. It is one of the additions to Daniel, considered apocryphal by Protestants. It is listed in Article VI of the Thirty- Nine Articles of the Church of England among the books which are included in the Bible but not used for the formation of doctrine. It is not included in the Jewish Tanakh and is not mentioned in early Jewish literature.
As the story goes, a fair ebrew wife named Susanna is falsely accused by lecherousvoyeurs. As she bathes in her garden, having sent her attendants away, two lustful elders secretly observe the lovely Susanna. When she makes her way back to her house, they accost her, threatening to claim that she was meeting a young man in the garden unless she agrees to have sex with them.
Paolo Veronese,Susanna in the Bath
Guercino, Susanna and the Old Men
Susanna and the Elders, Artemisia Gentilesch
Théodore Chasseriau, Susanna and the Elders
Franz von Stuck, Susanna in the Bath
Tamara de Lempicka Suzanna in the Bath
Lot is a character from the Book of Genesis chapters 11-14 and 19, in the HebrewBible. Notable episodes in his life include his travels with his uncle Abraham, the patriarch of Israel; his flight from the Kingdom of Sodom, in the course of which Lot's wife looked back and turned into a pillar of salt; and the seduction by his daughters so that they could bear children.
Both Christains and Isalm revere Lot as a righteous person of God. The Biblical stories of drunkness and incest attributed to Lot are absent in the Qur'an.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lot_(biblical_person)
Wtewael Joachim, Lot and his daughters
|Jean-Leon Gerome,Pygmalion and Galatea|
Pygmalion and the ImageThe Heart Desire
Pygmalion and the ImageThe Heart Desire
Pygmalion and the Image: The Godhead Fires
Pygmalion and the Image:The Soul Attains
The story has been the subject of notable paintings by Jean-Léon Gérôme, Honoré Daumier, Edward Burne-Jones (four major works from 1868-1870, then again in larger versions from 1875-1878), Auguste Rodin, Ernest Normand, Paul Delvaux, Francisco Goya, Franz von Stuck, Francois Boucher, and Thomas Rowlandson, among others. There have also been numerous sculptures of the 'awakening'
Hm.....we see a butterfly.....a symbol of Psyche as she was depicted with butterfly wings.
Louis Gauffier, Pygmalion and Galatea
Agnolo Bronzino, Galatea and Pygmalion
Franz von Stuck, Pygmalion
Franz von Stuck, Pygmalion
In Roman mythology, Flora was a goddess of flowers and the season of spring. While she was otherwise a relatively minor figure in Roman mythology, being one among several fertility goddesses, her association with the spring gave her particular importance at the coming of springtime. Her festival, the Floralia, was held between April 28 and May 3 and symbolized the renewal of the cycle of life, drinking, and flowers. The festival was first instituted in 240 B.C.E but on the advice of the Sibylline books she was given another temple in 238 B.C.E. Her Greek equivalent was Chloris, who was a nymph and not a goddess at all. Flora was married to Favonius, the wind god, and her companion was Hercules. Her name is derived from the Latin word "flos" which means "flower." In modern English, "Flora" also means the plants of a particular region or period.
Flora achieved more prominence in the neo-pagan revival of Antiquity among Renaissance humanists than she had ever enjoyed in ancient Rome.
She is the main character of the ballet The awakening of Flora.
The Triumph of Flora by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux (1866). South façade of the Pavillon de Flore, Louvre
Sandro Botticelli, Primavera
Flora, Jan Matsys
Nicolas Poussin, The Triumph of Flora
There is another interesting theme that has attracted attention of many painters such as After bath or Bathers. But I can't connect with mythology or religion. Perhaps, there is a different explanation for that.
Edgar Degas, After the Bath
Paul Cezanne, Bathers
Paul Cezanne, Women Bathing