Friday, October 12, 2012

Hylas, Lost to Love

Hylas, Lost to Love  14  x 14 in.  Rust Monoprint
Apollonios Rhodios wrote his version of the Argonautika, the story of Jason and the Quest for the Golden Fleece, in the 3rd century BC but this Hero's story is probably the oldest extant Greek myth.

When I began my investigation of “rust” as a medium for creative process a year and a half ago I decided to make the Argonautika the subject for my personal quest and chose Peter Green’s translation of the Argonautika as source for my imagery.  Below, Green describes the fate of Hercules companion, Hylas in a significant chapter of the Argonautika.

'Hylas, then, came to the spring that was known as The Fountains by local inhabitants. Just now, as it chanced, the dances of the nymphs were being held there; for it was their custom, that of all the nymphs who dwelt around that lovely mountain, ever to honor Artemis with nocturnal song. Now all whose haunts were hilltops or mountain torrents, the guardian wood nymphs, these were ranged apart; but one water nymph had just swum up to the surface of the sweet-flowing spring. Before her she saw young Hylas in a blushing glow of sweet gracefulness and beauty:  for on him the full moon, shining clear from heaven, now cast its light. Aphrodite fluttered her senses, leaving her stunned, scarce able to gather her wits. But the moment he dipped his pitcher in the current, Crouching over sideways, and the brimful stream rang loud,  as it hit the echoing bronze, then she at once slipped her left arm round his neck from above, in urgent longing to kiss his tender young mouth, and with her right hand drew down his elbow, plunged him into mid-eddy.'

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