Mythological Actors of Art

Mythological characters and narratives are perhaps the most widely used figures and themes in art, especially in painting and sculpture. This is probably due to the fact that many concepts, emotions, can be explained both easily and effectively using mythological characters, and that personalized counterparts of many concepts are found in mythologies. Because relations between beings can be understood more easily than relations between concepts.

From this point of view, mythology is actually a way to tell people something. In particular, it is an important way to explain the relationship between intangible concepts that are difficult to visualize. In this respect, it is not a fairy tale or a dead belief, but a tool that we can still use to understand things. Of course, we do not prefer as much as in ancient times.

In order to make sense of a painting or sculpture in which a mythological narrative is concretized, some knowledge of mythology is needed. For this reason, Şefik Can’s Classical Greek Mythology book is at least a good start. To understand who is who in painting or sculpture and to know which myth is dealt with increases the pleasure of the artwork. Of course, this cannot be said. In other words, a painting or a sculpture can be enjoyed without knowing the subject, but especially in mythology and religious works, who I am who, which myth, the parcel is handled more if I understand.

Artists will also think that they often try to identify who they are in their works. In ancient times, the names of heroes were often written on the figure in the ancient Greek vase paintings. Later, however, the objects that symbolized the place of this tradition, sometimes used in accordance with the subject matter of the work, and sometimes without any involvement in the event, began to see the same work in order to understand who the figure was.

It’s a vase reminiscent of Sarpedon’s death. Classical Period. Whoever is next to each character in the vase. Image: web1
We call these objects, the objects identified with mythological personalities, atribu. We may be able to call it an indicator or indicator, but I think it would be more accurate to leave it atribu. Or perhaps it can be called a trademark-i farika, but it does not seem as if we are very Turkish.🙂Now, let us list how some of the actors in ancient Greek and Roman mythology often appeared before us in paintings and sculptures. The parenthetical correspondence in Roman mythology.

ZEUS (Jupiter)
Zeus, the king of the gods, is often shown as middle-aged and bearded. Only wisdom is only in his face. In general, the body does not come out of today’s body building salons and eating three meals of protein powder is the shape of friends. Mostly it is indicated by a lightning beam in hand . In addition, if there is an eagle somewhere in the statue or painting , Zeus looks again. Since he is the king of the gods, the  scepter is his own atribus.Sometimes Zeus himself appears as an animal, most of which are myths that he is after. For example, while kidnapping Ganymedes, the eagle entices the mortal Leda, while the swan turns into a bull instead of tempting Europe . The most interesting is that Danae, who is hiding in a bronze cell , arrives as a rain of gold and what happens.

An estimate of the sculpture of Zeus in the Temple of Olympian Zeus , one of the seven wonders of the world, by sculptor Phidias . 
The statue itself has unfortunately disappeared. Zeus has his wand in his left hand, the 
eagle on his wand and 
Nike, the goddess of victory in his right hand . Image: Web2
Depiction of another Zeus with his wand, lightning beam and eagle. 
Image: web3
One of Zeus’ most interesting performances. Gustave Klimnt, Danae, 1907-8 In 
this mythological narrative, Zeus joins Danae, imprisoned in a 
room, and enters the room in the form of a golden rain. 
Image: web 4.
Zeus, who has nothing to do for libertine, this time 
with Leda, disguised as a swan . Peter Paul Rubens, Leda and Swan, around 1600. 
Image: web5

HERA (Juno)

The goddess of loyalty and marriage, Hera is often portrayed as middle-aged and clothed. One of the most important atribu is the peacock . Zeus’ brother is also his wife. So this gives him the title of Queen of Olympos, and that is why he is sometimes shown with a crown at the beginning .

Hera with her wand, crown and peacock. 
Image: web6

ATHENA (Minerva)
Athena, one of the most important goddesses, was born of Zeus’ escape from a goddess called Metis. There’s a long narrative of her birth, but the end is important. He was “born olarak armed with Hephaistos’ ax cleaving his father’s head, Zeus. Therefore, almost always the head helmet li, is shown with a shield in hand . Athena, who is very fond of her chastity, is always represented clothed with very rare exceptions. Owl represents his mind, as well as the war is his animal. Also, because of myths about him, the head of Medusa and the snake are among his symbols. Olive tree is also mentioned among the plants .

Athena , with her helmet in one hand, her spear in her hand, the head of the gorgon Medusa on her chest, her serpent 
garment and her owl, figured out that with almost all her atribu, 
Athena is in this picture. Image: web7
A small replica of the statue of Athena of Pheidias at the Parthenon. 
With his helmet on his head, the head of Medusa on his chest, his shield and holy animal in one hand, and 
Nike, who brought victory in the other hand, … Archaeological Museum of Athens.


Aphrodite is best known from Eros next to it. Usually a small child and Eros Aphrodite, sometimes shown with a bow and arrow. In addition,  dolphins and  dove  plants and roses and  pomegranates are also used by artists to show that Aphrodite is a character. In addition, because it is about the birth of seashells can also take place in paintings and sculptures along with Aphrodite.

Lambert Sustris’s 1550 painting ph Aphrodite and Love.. Aphrodite is quite a minmalist about clothing, as is often the case. The sacred animal dove offspring with the arrow of Eros Emir Eros… 
Visual: web8.

By the way, not always, but Aphrodite is often shown naked. It is mostly above the waist and rarely completely naked. Other goddesses are not shown naked with rare exceptions. Anyway, the chaste wife Hera, Athena and Artemis, who took the vow of virginity, are not likely to be naked. But as I said, in some cases we can see other goddesses naked in the painting or sculpture, as in the seçim choice of Paris ”.

One of the most famous sculptures of 
Aphrodite, Ven Venus of Milo ”is the beauty and divine aura of Aphrodite. 
Around 130-100 BC, Alexandros of Antiochia. 
Image: web9.


Artemis, son of Leto and Zeus, twin brother of Apollo, is often associated with hunting and birth. The arrow u and the bow come from his fondness for hunting. Again, the sacred animal deer and other game animals can often come across in their representations. Again in relation to hunting, the dogs are among the animals of Artemis. Artemis is also the goddess of the moon. Therefore, sometimes a crown in the form of a moon shows Artemis.

From the Louvre Museum, the den Versailles Diana ”. Roman replica of a statue of Greek sculptor Leochares. 
During the hunting, Artemis took the arrow in one hand and the arrow in his back with the holy animal deer beside him… 
Visual: web10.
Artemis is similar during a hunt, again in a pose. 
Antalya Archeology Museum while taking the bow in his left hand and arrow from his quiver .

APOLLON (Apollo)

Apollon, son of Leto and Zeus, twin brother of Artemis, is often portrayed as a young, handsome man with no beard. Most of the time it appears partially or completely naked. Like Artemis, Apollo mostly travels with bow and arrow . Sometimes he uses this weapon to bring goodness to people, and diseases such as the plague often come to cities with the arrows of Apollo. Apollon, the god of music, is often shown with lyre , one of the most popular instruments in the ancient world . Laurel tree and laurel crown can also be used to describe Apollo. 

One of the most famous statues of Apollo is the Belvedere Apollo in the Vatican Museum. 
This work, dated to the 2nd century AD, is a replica of the bronze statue of 
Leochares, one of the famous sculptors of the Hellenistic period, who was one of the sculptors working in the Maussoleion of Halicarnassus 

The arrow in his left hand is the most prominent atribus of Apollo. There is also 
a snake on the tree trunk next to his foot since he is a god of health . The snake is the atribus of Athena. Some such animals 
may have atribus of multiple gods. Image: web11.
HERMES (Mercury)
The special holding called the messenger god Hermes caduceus is known for its native wand. It can also be represented by winged sandals i and winged helmets i, which allow it to travel distances very quickly as it is a messenger . Hermes is also the god of passengers, merchants and thieves. The turtle is also one of Hermes’s animals and sometimes takes part in their representations, as it makes a lyre from a turtle’s shell and gives it to Apollo .

Hermes in a crateros ceramic pot. With a winged cap on his head, a wand called adu caduceus, in his hand, and winged sandals. 
The artist also didn’t take any chances and wrote Hermes next to his head. In the meantime, the myth here is the moving of the 
dead body of Sarpedon , an important hero, 
by Hypnos and Thanatos , the personalized states of “sleep” and “death .. Euphronios crater, Euxitheos (master of ceramics) and Euphronios (painter), around 515 BC. Image: web12.
Olympians in a renaissance painting. Ares with helmet and spear at the top, next to the beautiful naked, naturally, Aphrodite, 
leading muse of dancing, 9 Mousa, while the right winged horse Pegasos and Hermes. We know Hermes from the caduceus, 
winged hat, and winged boots. 
The work is La Parnasse of 1496-7 by Andrea Mantegna. Image: web13.
Hermes. So where do we know? The turtle under his foot, of course. 
Antalya Archaeological Museum
Here’s the information about Hermes’ scepter:
“C aduceus, Fransızca kadüse ü in French, consists of two snakes wrapped around a scepter. It was said that Asa had the power to reconcile any two men, monsters or elements in conflict. Hermes, or Mercury in Rome, wants to try his new wand and put it between two snakes that hiss at each other in anger. Snakes forget their fights, hug around the wand and always remain on the wand after that day.
There is also a pair of wings above the adu caduceus in of the double-serpent Hermes. In some reliefs, this double wing is seen in the heels of Hermes and is a sign of speed. ”(Web26)
HADES (Pluto)
Hades, another god of Zeus, the god of the underworld and the dead, is rarely seen in painting and sculpture. It is a bit difficult to recognize because they do not have very clear atribular. However , if we see a figure holding Kerberos , a three-headed dog guarding the door of Tartalos, where dead spirits are kept, we are probably confronted with Hades. 

One of the least visible gods in art, Hades. Wand in his hand, after all he is the king of the underworld. 
On the other side is a three-headed 
dog, Kerberos , who protects Tartaros’ door and does not release creatures and dead people . I think he’s wearing a hat that gives the wearer invisibility. 
Image: web14.
POSEIDON (Neptune)
Poseidon, the brother of Zeus, was the god of the sea. At the same time earthquakes and horses remain in his jurisdiction. Like Zeus, he is represented by a beautiful, athletic body, but with an old and bearded face. His spear-like spear is the most well-known atribus of the sailors. In addition, a wide variety of marine species, especially dolphins and gigantic sea ​​horses, are included in his representations. Although they live on land, horses and bulls are also among the atribu of Poseidon.
Athena and Poseidon compete to name the city of Athens and become its patron god. 
(You can read the entire myth from the Athens part of the blog) We know 
Poseidon from the horse with his 3-pronged spear and of course the present to the city. Athena is also seen with a spear in 
her hand, a helmet on her head , the head of Medusa and an olive tree on her chest. 
Image: web15.
Poseidon is also the favorite god of sculpture compositions with pool in the city, especially in Italy. 
He often portrays 
supply in urban squares with his three-pronged spear, a wide variety of sea creatures and creatures of six fish / snakes and human beings. The image shows an example from Rome.
ARES (Mars)
Ares, son of Zeus and Hera, is the god of war. He is not a well-liked figure because he enjoys tensions, fights and wars in general. He is not very brave, resourceful. He’s an interesting figure. In his representations he is often portrayed as a young warrior with a spear equipped with a helmet and shield .

Ares does not compromise the helmet on his head even when he is doing the work with Aphrodite… At least he 
put his shield and sword aside. Meanwhile other figures are Aphrodite and Hephaistos. 
You can read what’s going on here from the Hephaistos title on the blog. 
Immediately from the above event, we immediately know Poseidon with his three-armed harpoon and Hermes with his caduceus. 
Image: web16.
A picture of an Archaic vase showing Ares and Aphrodite together. Only Aphrodite 
is portrayed with Ares rather than her husband Hephaistos . The art world seems to be the subject of deception, love, lust almost like the series movies. 
This is probably one of the rare clothed depictions of Aphrodite. This must be due to the very early date of the work. 
Because gods and goddesses are not shown naked in the early periods, nudity or more 
accurate display of the beauty of bodies with ideal proportions increases. However, we 
know Aphrodite immediately from the dove . As usual, Ares is going to go to war at any moment with his spear and pounding. 
Image: web17.


Demeter, the goddess of fertility and fertility, is naturally represented by a bundle of spikes . Sometimes the sicklefor mowing represents Demeter. Demeter is not involved in much art. His daughter Persephone, who was kidnapped by Hafes, is more popular than him. You will recall, the Matrix also had a character called Persephone starring Monica Belluci.

The meeting of Demeter and Persephone, Frederic Leighton, 1891. 
Demeter’s daughter Persephone is abducted by the underworld god Hades and Demeter searches the world and cannot find her daughter. 
Mourning, sadness, crops do not grow. There is a terrible famine, and all living things in the world begin to break. 
Eventually Zeus intervenes and says that 
Persephone will be buried with her husband for half of the year on earth with her mother in half of the year . Since then, the autumn and winter months, when Demeter has been separated from her daughter, become cold, inefficient, and the 
spring and summer when she meets her daughter , become productive and productive. Of course, this myth origin from many similar narratives based on eastern mythology.
The tracks carry, but anyway, let’s get back to the picture. In the picture there is only Hermes caduceus and hat as atribu. From there we immediately see that it was Hermes and that Persephone brought her underground to her mother, Demeter, to begin spring. 
One of Hermes’ duties is to guide the souls underground. In other words, even though they have no atribuli, we understand that because of the space and Hermes, the following is Persephone and the above is Demeter. 
Image: web18.
Demeter with bundle of spike in the hands in a 5th century vase. 
Image: web19.

probably the most festive deity of Olympos. There is an adventurous birth and the story of going to Olympos. It was born of Zeus’ flirtatiousness and Selene’s escape. He is the god of wine, intoxication, entertainment and theater. He is often referred to as a young man without a beard. The most common atribular are ivy / vine plant and pine cone headpiece . Also covered s, integral participants in the festival line s, mainad s and Pan has often around the Dyonisos. One of the myths of Dyonisos, who does not prefer too much clothes , is seen as throwing gazelle skin on his shoulder.

Dyanisos or Roman mythology, the most impressive depiction of Bacchus. Caravaggio, around 1598. 
With a vine-leaf crown on his head and a wine glass in his hand 
. Dionisos is often portrayed as a young man, but here Caravaggio 
showed Dyonisos quite a young man. There is a nice analysis of this table in the source from which I got Visual, and I recommend you to read it. 
Image: web20.
Baccus statue by the great master Michelangelo. 1496-97. 
Michelangelo showed Dyonisos with a crown of grapes on his head and a drinking cup in his hand. 
There is also a vine body next to it, as we often see in his sculptures. 
The figure next to Dyonisos is one of the satires, which is indispensable for the procession. Satire are 
living in the countryside, the goat-footed and divine beings from Dyonisos’s subjects. A little, like nature demons. 
Image: web21.
In this archeological museum in Antalya, Dyonisos has a 
thin deerskin he threw on his shoulders and a pars next to him. 
Eros who plays Parsla stands there as decoration. 🙂Not atribu.

blacksmith god Hephaistos is naturally  known for his hammer and  anvil , forging tools . Since it is not a very popular god, it is not seen much in art works. I told the story of Hephaistos, who had an adventurous life, in another article. If you are curious, you can go to the relevant page from the menu above.

Hephaistos is being taken back to Olympos. You can read the entire myth from the above article of Hephaistos. 
Hephaistos on a donkey on the far left is shown with blacksmith tools. Right to the right, Dyonissos is shown with a wine crater and a pine cone wand and a crown of ivy leaves. At the far right is Hera, the queen sitting on the throne. 
Image: web22.

HESTIA (Vesta)

The January goddess Hestia is not one of the popular characters, but she is actually responsible for a very important field. He is responsible for both the family and the city’s “quarry of the quarry sön, that is, to sustain his life. Even in the prytaneion, which can be called the city hall of every city, the fire that symbolizes that the city is alive is under the supervision of the Hestia nuns 24/7.
For this reason, Hestia is often depicted in painting and sculpture with a burning oil lamp or torch in hand, or with a burning fire near it, sometimes with a bunch of flowers .

Zeus, Ganymedes and Hestia in an archaic vase painting. Zeus, sitting on the throne and is determined by his wand 
 Ganymedes Zeus serves drinks. The rightmost Hestia has a bunch of flowers in her hand. 
Image: web23.

NIKE (Victoria)

Nike, the goddess of victory, often appears in paintings and sculptures. Since many artworks deal with a struggle, we often see him bringing the crown from the laurel leaves symbolizing victory to the victorious side of the struggle. The most common atribus is the wing . In medieval art, the wings, which were the signs of the angels, were unique to Nike in ancient mythology.

One of Ephesus’s popular reliefs: Nike, which brought victory. 
Victory crown with wings and laurel leaves placed on the winner’s head. 
There’s something like a feather in your other hand, but I don’t know what it is.
This is one of the most famous Nike statues “Samothrace Niki bulunan in the Louvre Museum. 
This statue, dated to 200-190 BC, is probably thought to have adorned the bow of a ship. 
Nike is naturally shown with wings. He probably had the crown of victory in his hand. 
As it stands, it probably had a very impressive appearance, especially as it rises with the ship as it rises. 
Image: web24.

TYKE (Fortuna)

Tyke, goddess of fortune, began to gain popularity in the late Hellenistic period. This may have something to do with the chaotic political structure and endless wars in the Hellenistic period. He is usually shown with a bull horn full of fruit in his lap .
Tyche |  Greco-Roman statue
Tyke with a bull horn full of fruit, symbolizing abundance and fertility . Image: web25.
HERAKLES (Hercules)
Heracles, who was not a god but a hero but was taken to Olympos after his death, is a frequently encountered figure in the works of art. In general, the atribular is related to the 12 tasks that he has accomplished. He is best known for his coarse-colored pieces of wood, reminiscent of the weapons of the caveman in the cartoons . In addition, the lion skin he killed in one of his works is often the only one. It has a very muscular body because it represents brute strength.  

Tired Herakles is 
one of the marble replicas of the Farnese Herakles, originally made in bronze by Lysippos in 330-320 BC . 
The statue shows Heracles 
resting leaning on a large piece of wood he used to kill his enemies . In one 
of his missions, the pelt of the Nemean Lion he defeated and the head of the Cretan bull were also shown. 
Antalya Archaeological Museum


web3: http: // web4 
web5: / wiki / Leda_and_the_Swan_ (Peter_Paul_Rubens) 
web8: https : // Lambert_Sustris _-_ Venus_and_Love _-_ Louvre.jpg 
web12: /wiki/File:Euphronios_krater_side_A_MET_L.2006.10.jpg 
web14: the-devil.html 
web18: https: //
web20: -a-narration / 
web23: https: //www.theoi. com / Gallery / O24.9.html 
Victory web25:

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