Tag Archives: Poseidon

Ancient To Modern: Borrowed Gods (6)

Poseidon

In Greek mythology, he is the god of the sea. His name in Roman mythology is Neptune. Here are some representations in painting and sculpture from various centuries:

Shown on a Corinthian plaque (550-525 B. C.).
Shown on a Corinthian plaque (550-525 B. C.).
Poseidon from Milos, 2nd Century B. C. (National Archaeological Museum of Athens).
Poseidon from Milos, 2nd Century B. C. (National Archaeological Museum of Athens).
Andrea Doria as Neptune by Angelo Bronzino.
Andrea Doria as Neptune by Angelo Bronzino.
Neptune and Amphitrite by Jacob Gheyn II.
Neptune and Amphitrite by Jacob Gheyn II.

He has been borrowed and modified for inclusion in the Marvel Universe where he interacts with Namor, the Submariner…

Credit: Marvel Comics
Credit: Marvel Comics
Credit: Marvel Comics
Credit: Marvel Comics
Credit: Marvel Comics (Personally, I'm cheering for the Hulk.)
Credit: Marvel Comics (Personally, I’m cheering for the Hulk.)

… as well as the DC universe. Of the images I examined, I didn’t like the mean-spirited tone of most of them (Poseidon going rogue, hitting Wonder Woman, bloody noses, bloody mouths, etc.), so I included only one for this post. This is the best I found for my purposes, and it shows an angry Poseidon battling an angry Aquaman.

Credit: DC Comics
Credit: DC Comics

DC characters are so angry so much of the time. It strikes me as rather one-dimensional. This is definitely not the DC comics of my childhood.

More examples of shameless borrowing continue next week.

Mythology on Canvas (Part 11)

The Perseus Series by Edward Burne-Jones (continued):

When her mother inappropriately (according to the convoluted etiquette of the gods) boasts of Andromeda’s beauty, this offends Poseidon. He inundates the coast of Aeithiopia (a fanciful Ethiopia) and sends the sea serpent, Cetus, to plague that country. The citizenry and rulers (i.e. her parents!) settle upon the “obvious” solution of offering Andromeda as a sacrifice to Cetus. Enter Perseus to rescue the naked (of course) maiden while she is chained to a rock at water’s edge.

The Rock of Doom by Edward Burn-Jones
The Rock of Doom by Edward Burn-Jones

He kills the sea serpent and frees Andromeda. In the following picture, The Doom Fulfilled, the action to the right is contrasted with the relaxed, almost reposeful stance of Andromeda.

The Doom Fulfilled by Edward Burne-Jones
The Doom Fulfilled by Edward Burne-Jones

All works out well in the end, and Perseus marries Andromeda. In The Baleful Head (the last painting of the series), we see a scene from the nineteenth century poem which I mentioned in Part 8. I now know that it is titled The Doom of King Acrisius and was written by William Morris (Thank you, Nevil Warbrook.). Perseus is showing Andromeda the head of Medusa by its reflection in what appears to be a bird bath or outdoor wash basin. Note that this time the hair of the Gorgon is shown as consisting of snakes.

The Baleful Head by Edward Burne-Jones
The Baleful Head by Edward Burne-Jones

Different paintings starting next week…