Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Athena and her owl

On this second painting I was inspired by the divine figure of Athena, the Greek goddess of Wisdom, culture and the arts.  In ancient Greece she was the protector of the state, agriculture, industry, culture, law and order. She also stand for the virtue of prudence specially in war. The owl and the serpent are her sacred animals. There are many surviving representations of the ancient virgin goddess in statues, vases, coins and paintings. After doing some research on her story and attributes I started a painting based on a classical sculpture and from there added my own updated interpretation. I decided to portray her solemnly at night holding a spear and  a  white owl. Behind her lies a cemetery with a large pantheon like tomb housing a figure that subtly resembles that of the Virgin Mary and child. In the background we see electric posts that seem desolate and functionless as vegetation starts to grow over them. In the distant dark landscape we find artificial lights that hint the existence of a distant city. This picture is asking us to think about the myth of Athena in relation to our own civilization and its so called "modern progress". The goddess stares right at us as if waiting for us to respond to our current state of the world. Where are we heading to? It is a small painting measuring 10.5 inches by 14.5 inches. It is an oil painting on wood panel. The frame was made by my wife Blanca. It is wood and gold leaf with an application of the metal embossing technique in the inner part of it. This is the second completed piece of the series of paintings for "Eradorada" (Golden Age) There should 21 in total.