Phaedra – Alexandre Cabanel

Life was so hard before TV. You really did have to find your own entertainment and the Greeks were masters at this. A half hour eastenders episode looks like nothing compared to the stories of Greek mythology and the story of Phaedra is no different.

Cabanel's depiction of Phaedra was beautifully painted in 1880. We see Phaedra lay on a day bed, naked with just a thin sheet thrown over her, defining the womanly shape of her hips. The emotion captured on her face is that of resolute despair. Her nurse sat at the side of the bed, while a concerned maid looks on. I really like the features of Phaedra's face in this painting. They are dark against her pale skin, her hair strewn about under her.

So why is she being such a diva?

Phaedra, was married to Theseus (he's the one that killed the Minotaur). Even though Phaedra and Theseus has 2 sons, Theseus also had another son, Hippolytus, with one of the Amazonian sisters Hippolyta or Antiope.

Now this may start getting a bit Jeremy Kyle or Jerry Springer, so I'll take it slow and hopefully you'll be able to follow the pentagon that occurred.

Aphrodite, had desires on Hippolytus, but he had resigned himself to a chaste life, dedicating himself to the hunt and Artemis. Aphrodite was scorned by this action.

Some depictions of the myth say that Hippolytus was in love with Artemis, but she was in love with her hunting partner Orion. As a result Hippolytus rejected all women, and is sometimes described as hating women…

The scorned Aphrodite, then put a spell over Phaedra to make her fall in love with her step son.

Phaedra, while visiting Hippolytus offers herself to him (Although in some stories it is her nurse that tells Hippolytus of Phaedra's passion for him) but Hippolytus rejected her.

In a fit of revenge Phaedra writes her husband a letter saying that Hippolytus raped her, but then when Hippolytus is confronted by Theseus he denies the claim, Phaedra panics that she will be found out as a liar and hangs herself, unknown to her, Theseus takes her word over that of his sons and prays to Poseidon (Theseus' dad). In hearing the prayers of his own son, Poseidon sends a Bull to scare Hippolytus' horses while he is out hunting. As the horses bolt, Hippolytus' feet become entangled in the reins and he is dragged to death.

So I believe that Cabanel has captured the moment of realisation of her actions. Rejected by her son in law and lying to her husband.

While not the most dramatic point of the story captured for the viewer, I think that this picture is more about the emotions felt, as once you know the story you can pin point this picture as the moment her world begins to crumble.

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Phaedra – Alexandre Cabanel

Add yours

      1. Lol well when I was at school a friends dad said I looked like Jessica rabbit… I really don’t but it always stuck with me as it was quite funny if not a little creepy looking back at it now 😂

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

Anonymole - apocryphal abecedarian

Mental meanderings of a subterranean gadriosopher

Bitchin’ in the Kitchen

..because the thoughts that fall, kicking and screaming from my head need a safe place to land..

MARKOVICH PHOTO ART

MarkovichUniverse AT gmail.com

Finding French Charming

Finding True Love After Forty

My expressions

unexpressed thoughts

Fang & Saucer

From Stokervania to Austenland - to Infinity and Beyond!

Art & criticism by eric wayne

Art and Criticism by Eric Wayne

Quaint Revival

quirks, quips & photo clicks

It's Turpintime!

Stuff & Bits For The Muddled and Addled.

Scribbles

When the universe hands me a pen and then regrets it

The Artsy Psyche

I speak in colours and metaphors.

Eerie Unsolved

A Mix-Up of Mysteries, Conspiracie and All Things Spooky!

As Lady Stitch

Living with fibromyalgia.

Being Beckyy

We were born to be real, not to be perfect.

The Battles of Frankie

The failings and anecdotes of an average Aussie woman

The Formidable Endeavor

Ph.D. student life

The Indy Diarist

A Day in the Life

Leggings & Tea

Books. Art. Life.

The Non-Alcoholic Student

Ramblings on the University experience from a sober student

High Lumen

lighting design blog

Lady with Black Lipstick

Hopeless romantic speaking her thoughts.

Scandi Lifestyle

A lifestyle blog about all things Scandinavian

james'snotes

This is the page where I will share my thoughts about football, my memories and funny stories.

MYRA'S PANORAMA

A panorama is defined as an unbroken view of the whole region surrounding an observer. My panorama includes a jumbled mess of ideas and thoughts waiting to be typed out. Welcome to my panorama.

Marina Baker

marketing, social media, & business development

Chef Dave, Esq.

Lawyer by trade -- Cook by passion

MakeItUltra™

Psychology to Motivate | Inspire | Uplift

THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT

PURPOSE IN THE PROCESS

The Insides

Sometimes it's not about the happy ending, but about the story.

Diary of a Twenty Something

Finding meaning in the small and mundane...

ANNYWHO.

an online diary of an introvert.

ticktalksite

Tick talk, around the clock. Because Lyme disease never takes a day off.

Amdall Gallery

Collection of artwork, data analysis, and other assorted projects by Jon

The Butterfly Tree

where stories take wings

The Planet According to Dom

Where humour and adventure collide

O' Canada

Reflections on Canadian Culture From Below the Border

%d bloggers like this: