Myths

Myth is defined as a usually traditional story of ostensibly historical events that serves to unfold part of the world-view of a people or explain a practice, belief, or natural phenomenon. They offer us explanations about the mysteries beyond the physical plane of our existence and that resonate within our own reality. Diverse examples of myth include the Christian story of David and Goliath, the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast and the genesis of the Asaro Mud Men in New Guinea.

In another example, Antonio Canova's statue Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss, commissioned in 1787, exemplifies the Neoclassic devotion to love and emotion. It represents the god Cupid in the height of love and tenderness, immediately after awakening the lifeless Psyche with a kiss. A masterpiece of its period, it appeals to the senses of sight and touch, but still alludes to the Romantic interest in emotion co-existing with Neoclassicism.

Eric Pouhier, 'Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss', Antonio Canova, 1787-1793, marble. Louvre, Paris, France

Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss, Antonio Canova, 1787-1793, marble. Louvre, Paris

The myth associated with Saint Michael and the Dragon is symbolized with the personification of goodness and evil represented by a winged serpent or reptile. St. Michael clearly has the upper hand here as he triumphs over Satan. In this remarkable sculpture the unknown artist uses classic triangular composition to reinforce the power of good over evil.

Adrian Fletcher, 'Saint Michael and the Dragon', stone bas-relief with traces of polychrome. Early Christian period. The Louvre, Paris, France

Saint Michael and the Dragon, stone bas-relief with traces of polychrome. Early Christian period. Louvre, Paris


Source: Chris Gildow, Washington State Board for Community & Technical Colleges
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Last modified: Friday, February 22, 2019, 4:03 PM