Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Amphitrite in Art One

Amphitrite Goddess of the Sea

There are very few surviving stories featuring her as much more than a name  but her appearances in art suggest there may be missing stories that have not survived.

She is mentioned by Hesiod, Apollodoros, and Ovid and some other writers.

She was an Oceanid a daughter of  the Titans Oceanus and Tethys who married Poseidon and together they ruled the seas. Take a look at these images.

The striking thing about them is that although Poseidon ? Neptune got all the temples in popular art used in homes, mosaics, frescos, and lastly this vase painting, Poseidon and Amphitrite seem to be shown as co-equal consorts?
You rarely seen images of other gods together as married couples.

The other striking feature is how often Amphitrite is semi naked and always from the waist down. This is perhaps not so odd givne other deities being depicted this way but when she is shown as semi naked its always from the waist down.

But there is another way of depicting Amphitrite. There are vase painting images that refer to a story of her meeting her husbands son Theseus.

That's the topic for my next post!