Orpheus Returning from the Shades (1885)
by Sir William Blake Richmond (England, 1842-1921)
This painting depicts the Greek hero Orpheus at the moment of anguish after his failed attempt to rescue his wife, Eurydice, from death and the underworld.
Orpheus was a character in many Greek epics and was described as having superhuman musical skills. Orpheus joined the expedition of the Argonauts and saved the crew from the Sirens by playing his own, more powerful music. On his return, he married Eurydice, but she was soon killed by a venomous snake. Overwhelmed by grief, Orpheus traveled to the land of the dead to meet with Hades and plead for her return. Hades was so touched by Orpheus' story and music that he agreed to allow Eurydice to return on one condition: neither she nor Orpheus must look back during their journey to the land of the living.
As the couple approached the opening, Orpheus caught sight of the sun and, in his excitement, turned to face Eurydice to share his relief with her. It was in that moment that she disappeared forever.
Printed with Dye/Pigment Reactive Ink On archival matte paper Shipped in heavy duty poster tube Heavy weight (230 gsm), thick base (9.5 mil), and an instant-dry coating that resists fingerprints and smudging.
- Printed with Dye/Pigment Reactive Ink
- On archival matte paper
- Shipped in heavy duty poster tube
- Heavy weight (230 gsm), thick base (9.5 mil), and an instant-dry coating that resists fingerprints and smudging.