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58 Garden of the Gods by Paintings by Norman Neasom (1915 - 2010)

58 Garden of the Gods by Paintings by Norman Neasom (1915 - 2010)

Garden of the Gods

Watercolour - Signed and dated 1958

Image area: 360mm x 530mm: Framed 600mm x 760mm

The Garden of the gods or Sumerian paradise is the divine paradise of the Annanuki, the gods of Sumer. Samuel Noah Kramer suggested the concept of a human paradise and the Garden of Eden originated from the Sumerians who were describing a land outside of Sumer. The concept of this home of the immortals was later handed down to the Semitic Babylonians who conquered Sumer.

Aphrodite seems to be the main subject in the first statue. According to Homer's Iliad Aphrodite shown in Norman's painting is the daughter of Zeus and Dione and because of her beauty, other gods feared that their rivalry over her would interrupt the peace among them and lead to war, so Zeus married her to Hephaestus, who, because of his ugliness and deformity, was not seen as a threat. Aphrodite played a role in the Eros and Psyche legend, and later was both Adonis's lover and his surrogate mother. Many lesser beings were said to be children of Aphrodite.

Aphrodite had many other names, such as Acidalia, Cytherea and Cerigo, each used by a different local cult of the goddess in Greece. The Greeks recognized all of these names as referring to the single goddess Aphrodite, despite the slight differences in what these local cults believed the goddess demanded of them. The Attic philosophers of the 4th century, however, drew a distinction between a celestial Aphrodite (Aprodite Urania) of transcendent principles, and a separate, "common" Aphrodite who was the goddess of the people (Aphrodite Pandemos).

The way Norman portrays 2 lovers in the garden of the Gods suggests the story of Eros and Psyche, A fascinating story of love, marriage and tragedy and it is only when one understands the story of Eros and Psyche and then comes back to Norman's work does the painting evolve and we understand what the artist is telling us

This work is in a private collection

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