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52 Eurydice by Allegorical and Mythology

52 Eurydice by Allegorical and Mythology

Eurydice

Watercolour - Signed and dated 1952

Image Area: 15ins x 22ins

Eurydice was the wife of Orpheus, who loved her dearly; on their wedding day, he played joyful songs as his bride danced through the meadow. One day, a satyr saw and pursued Eurydice, who stepped on a viper, dying instantly. Distraught, Orpheus played and sang so mournfully that all the nymphs and gods wept and told him to travel to the Underworld and retrieve her, which he gladly did. After his music softened the hearts of Hades and Persephone, his singing so sweet that even the Erinyes wept, he was allowed to take her back to the world of the living.

There was a condition attached that he must walk in front of her and not look back until both had reached the upper world. However, soon he began to doubt that she was there and that Hades had deceived him. Just as they reached the portals of Hades and daylight, he turned around to gaze on her face, and Eurydice vanished back into the Underworld. When Orpheus was later killed by the Maenads on Dionysus' orders, his soul ended up in the Underworld where he was reunited with Eurydice

Norman was always interested in mythology from where he gained the inspiration for many of his paintings. The painting shows 2 girls dancing in the gardens of a stately home and unless the story had not been explained is exactly what the admirer of this work would see, it is only through Norman's interpretation that we know it was inspired by the story of Eurydice and Orpheus

This work is in a private collection

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