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Eros and Psyche (Museum Research Notes)

by: Giannelly Rodriguez

Eros and Psyche (Museum Research Notes) GNHU 285-04

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Giannelly Rodriguez

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About this Document

Covering different artifacts portraying the story of Eros and Psyche.
Dr. Levy
Class Notes
mythology, Greek, myth
25 ?




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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Giannelly Rodriguez on Monday September 26, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to GNHU 285-04 at Montclair State University taught by Dr. Levy in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 7 views.


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Date Created: 09/26/16
Giannelly Rodriguez Mythology Art Project Notes Name of piece: Oil flask (lekythos) with Eros playing double flute Material: Ceramic, Red Figure Date of artifact: Early Classical Period 470–460 B.C. Artist’s Name: unknown Provenance of artifact: By 1900: with Edward Perry Warren  (according to Warren's records: From Gela.); purchased by MFA from  Edward Perry Warren, February 1900 Museum/Website: Name of piece: Statue of Dionysos leaning on a female figure  ("Hope Dionysos") Material: Marble Date of artifact: 27 B.C.–A.D. 68 Artist’s name: Restored by Pacetti, Vincenzo Provenance of artifact: Gift of The Frederick W. Richmond  Foundation, Judy and Michael Steinhardt, and Mr. and Mrs. A.  Alfred Taubman, 1990 The cleaning and restoration of this  sculpture was made possible by a generous grant from the Edward John Noble Foundation, Inc Museum/Website: Name of piece:Venus and Cupid Material: Oil on canvas Date of artifact: around the mid­1520s Artist’s name: Lorenzo Lotto Provenance of artifact: ?Granet collection, Paris  (in 1912); private collection, Switzerland (until  1986); [Adrian Ward­Jackson, New York, 1986; sold to MMA] Museum/Website: Name: Terracotta statuette of Eros and Psyche Material: Terracotta Date of artifact: 4th­3rd century B.C. Artist’s name: Arthur B. Davies Provenance of artifact: the artist, New York, 1908– 1914; with Macbeth Gallery, New York, as agent,  1914 Museum/Website: Name of piece: Girdle of Ares Material: Oil on canvas Date of artifact: ca. 1908­14 Artist’s name: Arthur B. Davies Provenance of artifact: the artist, New York, 1908–1914; with Macbeth Gallery, New York, as agent, 1914 Museum/Website: Name of piece: Marble statue of Aphrodite Material: Marble  Date of artifact: 2nd Century B.C. Artist’s name: unknown Provenance of artifact: Gift of Mrs. Frederick M. Stafford, on the occasion of the reinstallation of the Greek and Roman galleries,  2006 Museum/Website: Pacetti, Vincenzo. Statue of Dionysos Leaning on a Female Figure ("Hope Dionysos"). 27 B.C.– A.D. 68. Metropolitan Museum of Art, On View at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery  162.Http:// Web. "EROS : Greek God of Love ; Mythology ; Pictures : CUPID, AMOR." THEOI GREEK  MYTHOLOGY, Exploring Mythology & the Greek Gods in Classical Literature & Art. N.p.,  n.d. Web. 17 Sept. 2016. Lotto, Lorenzo. Venus and Cupid. 1520s. Oil on canvas. Metropolitan Museum of Art, On View  at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 607. Terracotta Statuette of Eros and Psyche. 3­4 B.C. Terracotta. Metropolitan Museum of Art, On  View at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 171.  Girdle of Ares. Ca. 1908–14. Oil on canvas. Metropolitan Museum of Art, On View at The Met  Fifth Avenue in Gallery 774. Marble Statue of Aphrodite. 2 B.C. Marble. Metropolitan Museum of Art, On View at The Met  Fifth Avenue in Gallery 164. Cartwright, Mark. "Greek Pottery." Ancient History Encyclopedia. Ancient History  Encyclopedia, 12 Jan. 2013. Web. 21 Sept. 2016. By Your Fruitful Right Hand, by the Harvest Ceremonies Which Assure Plenty, by the Silent  Mysteries of Your Baskets and the Winged Courses of Your Attendant Dracones, by the Furrows in Your Sicilian Soil, by Proserpina's [Persephone's] Descent to a Light, N.p. "PSYKHE."  PSYCHE (Psykhe). Aaron J. Atsma, n.d. Web. 21 Sept. 2016. Giannelly Rodriguez The Story of Eros and Psyche The story of Eros and Psyche includes Eros(Roman name Cupid), Psyche, Aphrodite, and Psyche’s sisters. Most of the art chosen pertains to the story of Eros and Psyche, with some  exceptions that are similar in other stories. The first image of the flask shows the image of Eros(also known as Cupid) with his   playing a double flute. Since Eros is known as the god of love, passion and physical desire. The  double flute he is playing (“aulos” in greek) is known for being played during sports and  leisurely activities; it also represents poetic nature in which stories of Eros is known for being  portrayed in. Flasks, bowls, plates and other pottery were known for portraying historical events  and stories, because of their durability and ability to never be rid of it’s outer design. Since  pottery was not considered valuable to pirates and merchants in earlier ages, it is easy for  archeologists to buy and collect such artifacts. It can be inferred that Eros is flying since his  wings are spread and his feet are slightly pulled back. In the story of Eros and Psyche, Psyche  believed that her abductor was a monster because of what her sisters had told her. However, Eros is known for his beautiful angelic appearance, as shown on the flask. Since flasks are used to  pour oils, water, wine, and other liquids, the image of Eros playing the double flute signifies the  flow of music he makes as a form of parallelism towards the flow of the liquid being poured.  In the third image, Venus(Roman name Aphrodite) is portrayed as a bride with the white  cloth laid behind her head and the rose petals laid all over her body.  She symbolizes a day of  marriage and celebration as the seashell hanging above Venus’s head signifies love and fertility.  The ivy on the tree signifies fertility, and the myrtle wreath is one worn by a bride. Eros’s action, peeing through the wreath, is also a symbol of fertility and shows his humorous character.  However, in the story, Eros is not portrayed in this manner because he is summoned to do a vile  task involving Venus’s vengeance on Psyche. In some stories Venus is portrayed as Eros’s  mother; in others he is portrayed as her assistant. Nonetheless, Eros is known for adhering to the  commands given by Venus. In the story of Eros and Psyche, Venus commands Eros to cast a  spell on a mortal princess named Psyche out of envy of her beauty. However, Eros casts an  arrow into himself when he sees her, falling in love with the princess instead.  The fourth image depicts Eros and Psyche holding each other while wearing robes and  wreaths, indicating their unity in marriage after Eros had awaken her from deep sleep. When  Psyche saw the true image of her abductor, Eros fled. Thus, Psyche went to Aphrodite to ask for  help in finding Eros and is given impossible quests that she passes through various sources of  help. After the final quest, she is cast into a deep spell which Eros undoes and brings her with  him. He then takes her as his wife as Zeus grants Psyche immortality and unite her and Eros. The wreaths on their heads represent marriage, depicting the scene through the artifact. Psyche,  known for her immense beauty, was adored by all of the villagers in her town thus making  Aphrodite jealous. Ironically, the task she sent Eros to do did not cause Psyche to fall in love  with the ugliest man, but fall in love with Eros himself, god of love and desire. They married and bore a daughter named Hedone, meaning “Pleasure”. Psyche, when granted immortality, was  then known to be the greek goddess of the soul.  The last image depicts the marble statue of the goddess Aphrodite in a hip­shot position.  She has a cloak that is falling over from her waist and left arm. The artifact does not have its  head nor arms because such parts of the sculpture tend to give away after wearing out for long  periods of time. From the position of her body, it can be inferred that Aphrodite was very  confident about her body and embraced her desirable goddess. Although she may seem sweet  and innocent in the image with Eros, she can possess negative qualities such as envy, pride, and  unfaithfulness to her husband. 


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