Zeus and Ganymede

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ExcitedPup
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I saw this beautiful Thorvaldsen sculpture, and had to share it. For those of you who don't know the story, Zeus was flying around ancient Greece and he saw an astonishingly beautiful lad, called Ganymede tending a flock of sheep. A smitten Zeus himself into an eagle, zoomed down and abducted him, took him back to Mount Olympus, made him his cupbearer and conferred on him eternal youth. The episode is sometimes called the Rape of Ganymede, perhaps in the old sense rapine (meaning plunder; ganymede was plundered from his father), but there is something violent or coercive about Zeus' actions.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ganymede_(mythology)#Myth

This Thorvaldsen sculpture almost turns that on its head, and creates something that bespeaks tenderness, compassion. I find it deeply moving, personally. What say ye?

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Judge Jasel
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I like it. I'm guessing Zeus's iteration here is that eagle? I mean, I won't comment on the mythology because I have zero experience with Greek mythology. But from a pure artistic standpoint, it is really captivating, expertly sculpted too. And from what you mentioned about the myth, I think the sculpture portrays that rather well.
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ExcitedPup
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(Original post by Judge Jasel)
I like it. I'm guessing Zeus's iteration here is that eagle? I mean, I won't comment on the mythology because I have zero experience with Greek mythology. But from a pure artistic standpoint, it is really captivating, expertly sculpted too. And from what you mentioned about the myth, I think the sculpture portrays that rather well.
Indeed, Zeus is the eagle. And absolutely re expertly sculpted, Thorvaldsen is awesome in that respect.

What I love about the sculpture is that the underlying myth is a little bit sordid and unpleasant, and Zeus is the dominant/dominating character. Whereas the sculpture almost reverses that, instead of sexual lust and abduction, it's wholesome, tender, both characters are on an equal level (if anything, Ganymede is slightly taller), Ganymede has compassion for the eagle (i.e. feeding him water because he is thirsty)

And you can see a degree of curiosity from Ganymede, he is tender towards the eagle, but also curious about the beast. I love it, I found it very moving
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Judge Jasel
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(Original post by ExcitedPup)
Indeed, Zeus is the eagle. And absolutely re expertly sculpted, Thorvaldsen is awesome in that respect.

What I love about the sculpture is that the underlying myth is a little bit sordid and unpleasant, and Zeus is the dominant/dominating character. Whereas the sculpture almost reverses that, instead of sexual lust and abduction, it's wholesome, tender, both characters are on an equal level (if anything, Ganymede is slightly taller), Ganymede has compassion for the eagle (i.e. feeding him water because he is thirsty)

And you can see a degree of curiosity from Ganymede, he is tender towards the eagle, but also curious about the beast. I love it, I found it very moving
I couldn't agree with your description any better. I still see elements of Zeus's animosity. After all, an eagle is a bird of prey.
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