Death of Orpheus - Passionate Paintings
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16-09-2019    258 times
Death Orpheus

After Orpheus helplessly lost his ladylove Eurydice forever into the yawning abyss of eternal darkness, he became completely gloomy and depressed. He lost interest in his life, as nothing could bring solace to his tormented soul. He finds no pleasure in life and roams aimlessly here and there, playing extremely sad songs for the pleasure of the rocks and the rivers, the birds and the animals and often find comfort in lying on a huge rock and looking at the endless blue sky. He avoided and repulsed the romantic advances of the Thracian women and stopped to worship any god, except Apollo.

(Persons interested to know about the happy days of Orpheus and Eurydice may please visit to - Orpheus Eurydice)

The Maenads, a group of women who used to worship Bacchus, were very much attracted by the physical beauty of Orpheus and tried to seduce him in every possible way. However, Orpheus outright rejected the alluring dames, as he was in no mood to have relation with any woman, other than Eurydice. The Maenads were hurt and one day those insulted and angry band of unruly women attacked Orpheus under the influence of drinks. With the desperate intention of physically assaulting the man they desired, they started to throw stones at him. However, the missiles refuse to hit the target, as they were enchanted by the music of Orpheus.

Gregorio Lazzarin (Italy 1657-1730)
Gregorio Lazzarin (Italy 1657-1730)
Lovis Corinth (Germany 1858-1925)
Lovis Corinth (Germany 1858-1925)
Martha Mayer Erlebacher (USA 1937-2013)
Martha Mayer Erlebacher (USA 1937-2013)

At that point, to overcome the problem and fulfill the intention, the attacking women raised full throated shrieks and screams to drown the sound of the music. This time the projectiles reached the intended target and soon were stained with blood. Finally, those angry and intoxicated women killed Orpheus, cut his body into pieces and threw them into the River Hebrus, along with his lyre, down which they floated, murmuring sad music.

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Legend says that, the head of Orpheus and his lyre floated down the river to reach the island of Lesvos, where they were located by the Muses. With heavy hearts, they collected the remains of his body and buried them at Libethra, where a nightingale is said to sing over his grave. Jupiter placed his lyre among the stars.

John William Waterhouse
John William Waterhouse (Italy 1849-1917) - The Muses and the head of Orpheus

While alive, Orpheus was not allowed to gain access to the land of the dead twice and thus, could not bring his lover back to the land of living. However, it is said that, after his death, his shadow passed a second time to Tartarus, where he found his ladylove Eurydice again and embraced her with his eager arms.

Henri Leopold Levy
Henri Leopold Levy (France 1840-1904)
Tutorial at home
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    Author Details
Dibyendu Banerjee
Ex student of Scottish Church College. Served a Nationalised Bank for nearly 35 years. Authored novels in Bengali. Translated into Bengali novels/short stories of Leo Tolstoy, Eric Maria Remarque, D.H.Lawrence, Harold Robbins, Guy de Maupassant, Somerset Maugham and others. Also compiled collections of short stories from Africa and Third World. Interested in literature, history, music, sports and international films.
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