Παρασκευή, 30 Απριλίου 2010

Aubrey Vincent Beardsley , the grotesque in himself

The Climax (1894)

O Aubrey Vincent Beardsley (1872–1898) ήταν Αγγλος ζωγράφος και συγγραφέας. Τα έργα του ήταν σχέδια με μαύρο μελάνι, επηρεασμένα από το στυλ των γιαπωνέζικων ξυλογραφιών με βασική θεματολογία το αλλόκοτο, το παρακμιακό και το διαστροφικό ερωτικό. Ανήκε στον κύκλο του Οσκαρ Ουάιλντ και η συνεισφορά του στην τέχνη και την τεχνική των πόστερ ήταν σημαντική, παρόλη την σύντομη ζωή του.

Of a Neophyte and How the Black Art
Was Revealed Unto Him
by the Fiend Asomuel (1893)

Ηταν ο πιο αμφιλεγόμενος καλλιτέχνης του Art Nouveau, γνωστός για τις σκοτεινές και διαστροφικές απεικονίσεις με τον αλλόκοτο ερωτισμό τους, που ήταν η βασική του θεματολογία της ύστερης περιόδου του. Η επιδράσεις από την Ιαπωνική ζωγραφική και ιδιαίτερα από τα ερωτικά shunga είναι σημαντική και εμφανής, όχι μόνο στην τεχνοτροπία, αλλά και στην απεικόνιση μεγεθυμένων γεννητικών οργάνων.

The Dancer's Reward (1894)

Ηταν δημόσιο πρόσωπο αλλά και εκκεντρικός ιδιώτης. Ελεγε «Εχω ένα σκοπό, το αλλόκοτο. Αν δεν γίνομαι αλλόκοτος αισθάνομαι ένα τίποτα». Ο Οσκαρ Ουάιλντ έλεγε ότι είχε ένα πρόσωπο σαν ασημένιο μπαλτά και πράσινα σαν χόρτα μαλλιά».

Enter Herodias (1893)

Αν και ήταν στον ομοφυλόφιλο κύκλο με τον Οσκαρ Ουάιλντ, δεν είναι ξεκάθαρος ο σεξουαλικός του προσανατολισμός. Θεωρούνταν ασέξουαλ, κυρίως λόγω της χρόνιας αρρώστιας του (έπασχε από φυματίωση), αλλά κυκλοφορούσαν φήμες ότι ανέπτυξε ερωτικό δεσμό με την μεγαλύτερη αδελφή του η οποία μάλιστα έμεινε μαζί του έγκυος αλλά απέβαλε.

The Burial of Salome

Σε όλη του τη ζωή ταλαιπωρούνταν από την αρρώστια του, από την οποία πέθανε σε ηλικία 25 ετών. Τον τελευταίο χρόνο της ζωής του ασπάστηκε τον καθολικισμό και μετανοώντας ζήτησε από τον εκδότη του να καταστρέψει όλα τα «κακά» και άσεμνα έργα του. Ευτυχώς ο εκδότης του δεν τον άκουσε και έτσι σήμερα απολαμβάνουμε την αλλόκοτα αλλά ενδιαφέροντα έργα του

Flagellation club in London (1895)

Aubrey Vincent Beardsley (1872–1898) was an English illustrator and author. His drawings, executed in black ink and influenced by the style of Japanese woodcuts, emphasized the grotesque, the decadent, and the erotic. He was a leading figure in the Aesthetic movement which also included Oscar Wilde Beardsley's contribution to the development of the Art Nouveau style and the poster movement was significant, despite the brevity of his career before his early death.

The Eyes of Herod

Beardsley was the most controversial artist of the Art Nouveau era, renowned for his dark and perverse images and the grotesque erotica, which were the main themes of his later work. Some of his drawings, inspired by Japanese shunga, featured enormous genitalia. His most famous erotic illustrations were on themes of history and mythology

The Mask of the Red Death (1892)

Beardsley was a public character as well as a private eccentric. He said, "I have one aim—the grotesque. If I am not grotesque I am nothing." Wilde said he had "a face like a silver hatchet, and grass green hair." Although Beardsley was aligned with the homosexual clique that included Oscar Wilde and other English aesthetes, the details of his sexuality remain in question. He was generally regarded as asexual—which is hardly surprising, considering his chronic illness and his devotion to his work. Speculation about his sexuality include rumors of an incestuous relationship with his elder sister, Mabel, who may have become pregnant by her brother and miscarried. Through his entire career, Beardsley had recurrent attacks of tuberculosis that would end it. He suffered frequent lung hemorrhages and was often unable to work or leave his home.

The examination

Beardsley converted to Catholicism in March 1897, and would subsequently beg his publisher to “destroy all copies of bad and obscene drawings." Smithers ignored Beardsley’s wishes, and actually continued to sell reproductions as well as forgeries of Beardsley's work. Beardsley was active till his death in 1898, at the age of 25, of tuberculosis. (wikipedia)

Lucian's Strange Creatures

You can see many illustrations of his works HERE

The Stomach Dance


The Murders in the Rue Morgue (1894-1895)


The Landslide


Dragon

Πέμπτη, 29 Απριλίου 2010

Et in Arcadia ego

Guercino (1618-1622)

Et in Arcadia ego: Μια λατινική αινιγματική φράση που είναι γραμμένη πάνω σε 3 ομώνυμους πίνακες, ενός του Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (Guercino) (1618-1622) και δύο, λίγο μεταγενέστερων, του Nicolas Poussin (1627 & 1637). Και οι τρεις απεικονίζουν εξιδανικευμένες μορφές βοσκών οι οποίοι περιεργάζονται ανήσυχοι ή περίεργοι έναν τάφο που έχει χαραγμένη την φράση αυτή ως επιγραφή.

Η φράση μεταφράζεται «Κι εγώ στην Αρκαδία» κι έχει γίνει θέμα συζήτησης για το τι ακριβώς σημαίνει, για το αν κρύβει μηνύματα με αναγραμματισμό, κλπ, κλπ. Πιο πιθανό είναι να αποτελεί ένα Memento mori, μια και στον αρχικό πίνακα (του Guercino), όπου πρωτοεμφανίστηκε η φράση, υπάρχει ένα αρκετά μακάβριο κρανίο πάνω στον τάφο. Σαν να μας λέει δηλαδή ότι ο θάνατος κυριαρχεί παντού ακόμα και στην Αρκαδία!

Nicolas Poussin (1627)

Τι είναι όμως αυτή η Αρκαδία; Φυσικά πρόκειται για την περιοχή στην Πελοπόννησο, η οποία θεωρούνταν κατά την αρχαιότητα ένα ειδυλλιακό βουκολικό μέρος όπου ζούσαν αιώνια σε αρμονία με τη φύση βοσκοί με νύμφες και διάφορες θεότητες και πνεύματα του δάσους, όπως ο Πάνας, και ήταν ανέγγιχτο από τον πολιτισμό, ένας επίγειος παράδεισος δηλαδή. Εχει αποτελέσει έμπνευση για ρομαντικά ποιήματα και πίνακες, από την αρχαιότητα, την Αναγέννηση μέχρι και σήμερα.

Nicolas Poussin (1637)

“Et in Arcadia ego” is a latin phrase (translated “Even in Arcadia I exist”) which is found in three paintings, one by Guercino (1618-22) and two by Poussin some years later (1627 & 1637) . All are pastoral paintings depicting idealized shepherds from classical antiquity, clustering around an austere tomb.

Thomas Cole's "The Arcadian or Pastoral State" (1834)

The meaning of this phrase had many interpretations, some of them considering it an anagram. But the most probable meaning is a memento mori, because Guercino’s painting depicts also a quite creepy skull above the tomb. So the meaning was that Death is everywhere, even in Arcadia.

Friedrich August von Kaulbach (1850–1920) "In Arcadia"

Arcadia was located in South Greece and was considered an idyllic landscape in Ancient Greece where nymphs, deities and shepherds live in perfect harmony with nature, not affected by civilization and was an inspiration for poems and paintings from antiquity, Renaissance up to recent years.

Τρίτη, 27 Απριλίου 2010

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street


O Sweeney Todd είναι ένας φανταστικός χαρακτήρας που πρωτοεμφανίστηκε σε μια σειρά penny dreadful εκδόσεων με την ονομασία The String of Pearls το 1846-1847. Λέγεται ότι ήταν υπαρκτό πρόσωπο, αλλά αυτό δεν επιβεβαιώνεται από πουθενά. Πρόκειται πιθανότατα για παλιότερο αστικό θρύλο, ο οποίος ενέπνευσε και διάφορα μυθιστορήματα με παραπλήσια υπόθεση, που χρονικά προηγούνταν του Sweeney Todd.


Στην αρχική εκδοχή της ιστορίας, ο Sweeney Todd είναι ένας σατανικός κουρέας, ο οποίος με ένα μηχανισμό κάτω από την καρέκλα όπου κάθεται ο πελάτης άνοιγε μια καταπακτή και το θύμα, πέφτοντας στο υπόγειο, τσακιζόταν και εν συνεχεία το αποτελείωνε με τα ξυράφια του. Σε άλλες εκδοχές, πρώτα του έκοβε το λαιμό και μετά το έριχνε στο υπόγειο. Εν συνεχεία, αφού τους αφαιρούσε τα χρήματα και τα τιμαλφή, η συνεργάτης του Mrs Lovett ετοίμαζε κρεατόπιτες από τις σάρκες των θυμάτων που τις πουλούσε στο κατάστημά της και έκανε χρυσές δουλειές!!


Η ιστορία γρήγορα ξέφυγε από το χώρο των περιοδικών αυτών και έγινε θεατρικό μελόδραμα, όχι μόνο εκείνη την εποχή, αλλά και στον 20ο αιώνα, στις αρχές δε του 21ου έγινε και ταινία από τον Tim Burton με πρωταγωνιστές τους Johnny Depp και Helena Bonham Carter.


Αν και στην αρχική ιστορία ήταν απλώς μια καθαρά εγκληματική φυσιογνωμία με μόνο κίνητρο την κλοπή, οι μετέπειτα προσαρμογές του σε μιούζικαλ, καθώς και η κινηματογραφική του μεταφορά από τον Tim Burton, έβαλαν και κοινωνικά και εκδικητικά κίνητρα, μια και ο κουρέας ήθελε να εκδικηθεί για την αυθαιρεσία του Judge Turpin, ενός αχρείου αρχιδικαστή της πόλης του, που τον κατηγόρησε, καταδίκασε και εξόρισε με σκοπό να του κλέψει τη γυναίκα και εν συνεχεία και την κόρη. Όταν επιστρέφει από την εξορία σκαρφίζεται αυτό το σατανικό σχέδιο, αλλάζοντας το όνομά του και, ως φημισμένος πλέον κουρέας, ανοίγει μαγαζί και τραβάει πελατεία κυρίως από την υψηλή κοινωνία, με απώτερο σκοπό να έρθει ως πελάτης ο αρχιδικαστής και να τον εκδικηθεί. Εν συνεχεία, συνεχίζει τις σφαγές ανοίγοντας «μεταποιητικές» δουλειές με την Mrs Lovett….


Sweeney Todd is a fictional character who first appeared as the main antagonist of a penny dreadful serial titled The String of Pearls (1846-1847). Claims that Sweeney Todd was a historical person are strongly disputed by scholars, although there are possible legendary prototypes, arguably making the story of Sweeney Todd an early example of an urban legend.


In the original version of the tale, Todd is a barber who dispatches his victims by pulling a lever while they are in his barber chair which makes them fall backward down a revolving trapdoor into the basement of his shop, generally causing them to break their necks or skulls. Just in case they are alive, he goes to the basement and "polishes them off" (meaning he slits their throats with his straight razor). In some adaptations, the murdering process is reversed, with Todd slitting the throats of his customers before they are despatched into the basement via the revolving trapdoor. After Todd has robbed his dead victims of their goods, Mrs. Lovett, his partner in crime (in some later versions, his friend and/or lover), assists him in disposing of the bodies by baking their flesh into meat pies, and selling them to the unsuspecting customers of her pie shop. Todd's barber shop is situated at 186 Fleet Street, London, next to St. Dunstan's church, and is connected to Mrs. Lovett's pie shop in nearby Bell Yard by means of an underground passage.


The tale surrounding the character became a staple of Victorian melodrama. Later it was the subject of a 1959 ballet by English composer Sir Malcolm Arnold. The Tony award-winning Broadway musical took to the boards in 1979. Sweeney Todd has also been featured in several films, the most recent being 2007's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, directed by Tim Burton, with Johnny Depp in the title role.


In Stephen Sondheim's 1979 stage musical, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, based on the 1973 play of the same name by Christopher Bond, Todd is reinvented as a tragic character driven by revenge rather than greed. (Wikipedia)



Παρασκευή, 23 Απριλίου 2010

Album: "Holy Land", Band: Angra (1995)

The second and probably the most progressive album by this brazilian power metal band. Long songs with various music elements and rythms from Brazil, sounding a little bit like "Yes". More in allmusic.

















Τετάρτη, 21 Απριλίου 2010

Sheridan Le Fanu and his female vampire “Carmilla”

"The black guest" from Fanu's novel
"The Fortunes of Colonel Torlogh O'Brien" (1847)

O Sheridan Le Fanu (1814 – 1873) ήταν δημοφιλής Ιρλανδός συγγραφέας Gothic και μυστηρίου μυθιστορημάτων. Πιο πολύ του άρεζε να δημιουργεί ατμόσφαιρα μυστηρίου και αγωνίας, παρά σοκαριστικού τρόμου. Σε πολλά μυθιστορήματά του το υπερφυσικό υποννοείται έντονα, αλλά επιπλέον αφήνεται και μια πιθανή φυσική ερμηνεία.

Η "Carmilla", που εκδόθηκε το 1872, αφορά τη σχέση δυο κοριτσιών, το ένα από τα οποία είναι Βαμπίρ. Προηγείται κατά 25 χρόνια του κλασσικού Dracula του Bram Stoker και αν και λιγότερο γνωστό , είναι από τα πιο επιδραστικά μυθιστορήματα τρόμου της εποχής εκείνης που ακόμα διαβάζεται με ενδιαφέρον.

"Death by the Strappado" from Fanu's novel
"The Fortunes of Colonel Torlogh O'Brien" (1847)

Ο χαρακτήρας της Carmilla είναι η πρώτη αναφορά στον τύπο θηλυκών βαμπίρ με λεσβιακές τάσεις. Aν και οι περιγραφές στο μυθιστόρημα είναι διακριτικές σε πλατωνικό ρομαντικό επίπεδο, κάτι αναμενόμενο για τα ήθη της εποχής εκείνης, δεν μένει καμιά αμφιβολία στον αναγνώστη ότι ο ομοερωτισμός είναι αυτό που είχε στο νου του ο συγγραφέας για την προσωπικότητα της Carmilla, όπως διαφαίνεται σε χαρακτηριστικό απόσπασμα (Κεφ 4):

illustration of Madame de la Rougierre,
from Fanu's novel "Uncle Silas" (1864)
Μερικές φορές η περίεργη και όμορφη φίλη μου, έπαινε το χέρι μου πιέζοντάς το τρυφερά, κοκκινίζοντας ελαφρά, κοιτώντας με στο πρόσωπο με φλεγόμενα μάτια και αναπνέοντας τόσο γρήγορα που το φόρεμά της ανεβοκατέβαινε έντονα στο ρυθμό της αναπνοής της. Ηταν σαν την έξαψη ενός εραστή, με προκαλούσε αμηχανία. Ηταν μισητό και συνάμα με κυριαρχούσε, και με ερωτική ματιά με τραβούσε κοντά της και τα ζεστά χείλια της ταξίδευαν σε όλη την επιφάνεια των μαγουλών μου φιλώντας τα. Και μου ψιθύριζε σχεδόν με λυγμούς: «είναι δική μου, πρέπει να γίνεις δική μου, εσύ κι εγώ θα είμαστε ένα για πάντα»

illustration of Uncle Silas in his chair
from Fanu's novel "Uncle Silas" (1864)

Η Carmilla επέλεγε αποκλειστικά γυναίκες για θύματα, αλλά με λίγες δενόταν συναισθηματικά. Είχε γενικά νυχτόβιες συνήθειες, αλλά όχι αποκλειστικά. Είχε υπερφυσική ομορφιά, μπορούσε να περνάει ανάμεσα από τοίχους και το ζωικό alter ego της ήταν μια τερατόμορφη μαύρη γάτα. Επίσης κοιμόταν μέσα σε φέρετρο.

'Carmilla'

Joseph Thomas Sheridan Le Fanu (1814 – 1873) was an Irish writer of Gothic tales and mystery novels. He was the premier ghost story writer of the nineteenth century and had a seminal influence on the development of this genre in the Victorian era.

'Carmilla'

Le Fanu worked in many genres but remains best known for his mystery and horror fiction. He specialised in tone and effect rather than "shock horror", often following a mystery format. Key to his style was the avoidance of overt supernatural effects: in most of his major works, the supernatural is strongly implied but a possible "natural" explanation is left (barely) open.

'Carmilla'

"Carmilla" is a Gothic novella by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. First published in 1872, it tells the story of a young woman's susceptibility to the attentions of a female vampire named Carmilla. "Carmilla" predates Bram Stoker's Dracula by 25 years. Although is a lesser known and far shorter Gothic vampire story than the generally-considered master work of that genre, Dracula, the latter is heavily influenced by Le Fanu's short story.

'Carmilla'

Carmilla, the title character, is the original prototype for a legion of female and lesbian vampires. Though Le Fanu portrays his vampire's sexuality with the circumspection that one would expect for his time, it is evident that lesbian attraction is the main dynamic between Carmilla and the narrator of the story:

Sometimes after an hour of apathy, my strange and beautiful companion would take my hand and hold it with a fond pressure, renewed again and again; blushing softly, gazing in my face with languid and burning eyes, and breathing so fast that her dress rose and fell with the tumultuous respiration. It was like the ardour of a lover; it embarrassed me; it was hateful and yet overpowering; and with gloating eyes she drew me to her, and her hot lips travelled along my cheek in kisses; and she would whisper, almost in sobs, "You are mine, you shall be mine, and you and I are one for ever". ("Carmilla", Chapter 4).

Carmilla selected exclusively female victims, though only became emotionally involved with a few. Carmilla had nocturnal habits, but was not confined to the darkness. She had unearthly beauty and was able to change her form and to pass through solid walls. Her animal alter ego was a monstrous black cat, not a large dog as in Dracula. She did, however, sleep in a coffin. (wikipedia and www.jslefanu.com)



Τρίτη, 20 Απριλίου 2010

Α creepy miraculous luck?


According to tradition, the man portrayed is the Hungarian nobleman Gregor Baci, who was healed after having a lance pierce his right eye during a tournament. In the inventory of 1621 he is identified as an Hungarian hussar, who suffered this injury while fighting against the Turks. In the case of portraits of unusual people the interest of the collector, Archduke Ferdinand II, was not focussed on the painting as a work of art but rather on the person portrayed, his special destiny and his deeds. These were simply the qualities that made him a celebrity and raised him above the level of the average person. This desire to preserve the whole person and his deeds for posterity was, of course, also the motivation for collecting weapons and armour of famous rulers in his heroes armoury. (
Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna)

Σύμφωνα με την παράδοση, ο άνθρωπος στο πορτραίτο είναι ο Ούγγρος Ευγενής
Gregor Baci, που λέγεται πως θεραπεύτηκε από ένα πολύ σοβαρό τραύμα στο μάτι από δόρυ σε μονομαχία. Μια απογραφή λέει ότι είναι ένας Ούγγρος Ουσάρος που τραυματίστηκε από δόρυ σε μια μάχη ενάντια στους Τούρκους. Ο ζωγράφος είναι άγνωστος (16ος αι.) και για το έργο αυτό έδειξε ενδιαφέρον ο συλλέκτης Archduke Ferdinand II, όχι τόσο για την τεχνική του, όσο για το θέμα που απεικονίζει και την υποτιθέμενη θαυματουργή επιβίωσή του

Δευτέρα, 19 Απριλίου 2010

Theodicy-Rage of Gods

Theodicy was always an extreme sadistic and devastating act of Gods towards anyone that violated their divine law, will or pride. Let's see some represantations in art.


Prometheus

Jacob Jordaens (1640)

In Greek mythology, Prometheus is a Titan, the son of Iapetus and Themis, and brother to Atlas, Epimetheus and Menoetius. He was a champion of human-kind known for his wily intelligence, who stole fire from Zeus and gave it to mortals.

Peter Paul Rubens (1611-1612)

Zeus then punished him for his crime by having him bound to a rock while a great eagle ate his liver every day only to have it grow back to be eaten again the next day. His myth has been treated by a number of ancient sources, in which Prometheus is credited with – or blamed for – playing a pivotal role in the early history of humankind.

Jusepe de Ribera (1630)


Marsyas

Jusepe de Ribera (1637)

In Greek mythology, the satyr Marsyas is a central figure in two stories involving music: in one, he picked up the double flute that had been abandoned by Athena and played it;

Tiziano Vecellio (1570-1576)

in the other, he challenged Apollo to a contest of music and lost his hide (he was flayed alive) and life. In Antiquity, literary sources often emphasise the hubris of Marsyas and the justice of his punishment.

Giordano Luca (1695)


Ixion

In Greek mythology, Ixion was king of the Lapiths. Ixion married Dia, a daughter of Deioneus and promised his father-in-law a valuable present. However, he did not pay the bride price, so Deioneus stole some of Ixion's horses in retaliation. Ixion concealed his resentment and invited his father-in-law to a feast at Larissa. When Deioneus arrived, Ixion pushed him into a bed of burning coals and wood.

Jusepe de Ribera (1632)

Ixion went mad, defiled by his act; the neighboring princes were so offended by this act of treachery and violation of xenia that they refused to perform the rituals that would cleanse Ixion of his guilt (see catharsis). Thereafter, Ixion lived as an outlaw and shunned. By killing his father-in-law, Ixion was reckoned the first man guilty of kin-slaying in Greek mythology. That alone would warrant him a terrible punishment.

Jules Elie Delaunay (1876)

However, Zeus had pity on Ixion and brought him to Olympus and introduced him at the table of the gods. Instead of being grateful, Ixion grew lustful for Hera, Zeus's wife, a further violation of guest-host relations. Ixion was expelled from Olympus and blasted with a thunderbolt. Zeus ordered Hermes to bind Ixion to a burning solar wheel for all eternity, at first spinning across the heavens.


Tityos

Jusepe de Ribera (1632)

Tityos was a giant from Greek mythology. He was the son of Elara; his father was Zeus. Zeus hid Elara from his wife, Hera, by placing her deep beneath the earth. Tityos attempted to rape Leto at the behest of Hera and was slain by Apollo and Artemis. As punishment, he was stretched out in Hades and tortured by two vultures who fed on his liver. This punishment is extremely similar to that of the Titan Prometheus.


Tantalus

Tantalus was initially known for having been welcomed to Zeus' table in Olympus, like Ixion. There he is said to have misbehaved and stolen ambrosia and nectar to bring it back to his people and revealed the secrets of the gods.

Gioacchino Assereto (1630-1640)

Most famously, Tantalus offered up his son, Pelops, as a sacrifice to the gods. He cut Pelops up, boiled him, and served him up as food for the gods. The gods were said to be aware of his plan for their feast, so they didn't touch the offering; only Demeter, distraught by the loss of her daughter, Persephone, did not realize what it was and ate part of the boy's shoulder. Clotho, one of the three Fates, ordered by Zeus, brought the boy to life again.

Tantalus's punishment for his act was to stand in a pool of water beneath a fruit tree with low branches. Whenever he reached for the fruit, the branches raised his intended meal from his grasp. Whenever he bent down to get a drink, the water receded before he could get any.


Sisyphus

Tiziano Vecellio (1548-1549)

Sisyphus was the founder and first king of Corinth. He was avaricious and deceitful, violating the laws of hospitality by killing travelers and guests. He took pleasure in these killings because they allowed him to maintain his dominant position. From Homer onwards, Sisyphus was famed as the craftiest of men. He seduced his niece, took his brother's throne and betrayed Zeus' secrets. Zeus then ordered Thanatos to chain Sisyphus in Tartarus. Sisyphus slyly asked Thanatos to try the chains to show how they worked. When Thanatos did so, Sisyphus secured them and threatened him. This caused an uproar, and no human could die until Ares intervened, freeing Death and sending Sisyphus to Tartarus.

Franz von Stuck (1920)

However, before Sisyphus died, he had told his wife to throw his naked body into the middle of the public square in attempt to test his wife's love for him. Annoyed by the loveless obedience of his wife, Sisyphus persuaded Persephone, Queen of the Underworld, to allow him to go back to the upper world and scold his wife for not burying his body as a loving wife would. When Sisyphus returned to Corinth, he refused to retreat back to the underworld and was forcibly dragged back to the underworld by Hermes.

As a punishment from the gods for his trickery, Sisyphus was made to roll a huge rock up a steep hill, but before he could reach the top of the hill, the rock would always roll back down again, forcing him to begin again. The maddening nature of the punishment was reserved for Sisyphus due to his hubristic belief that his cleverness surpassed that of Zeus. Sisyphus took the bold step of reporting one of Zeus' sexual conquests, telling the river god Asopus of the whereabouts of his daughter Aegina. Zeus had taken her away, but regardless of the impropriety of Zeus' frequent conquests, Sisyphus overstepped his bounds by considering himself a peer of the gods who could rightfully report their indiscretions.


Loki

Mårten Eskil Winge (1863)

In Norse mythology, Loki is a god. Loki's relation with the gods varies by source. Loki assists the gods, and sometimes causes problems for them. Loki is a shape shifter and in separate incidents he appears in the form of a salmon and a mare.

Louis Huard (1813-1874)

Loki's positive relations with the gods ends with his role in engineering the death of the god Baldr. Loki is eventually bound by the gods with the entrails of one of his sons. A serpent drips venom from above him that his wife Sigyn collects into a bowl. However, Sigyn must empty the bowl when it is full, and the venom that drips in the mean time causes Loki to writhe in pain, thereby causing earthquakes.