Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Myths and Legends: Narcissus

Narcissus. To find out more about the self-absorbed Narcissus, see this Wikipedia article: link; for information about the image: image source.

There are probably hundreds (or more...?) paintings inspired by the legend of Narcissus, the man who was in love with his own reflection, and incapable of loving anyone or anything else. This particular painting dates to around the year 1500; notice that Narcissus is wearing contemporary clothes, rather than Greek or Roman garb. The artist is presumed to have been a follower of Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio, who was in turn a pupil of Leonardo da Vinci. Note also that in the painting's version of the story, rather than discovering his reflection in a pool, this Narcissus sees himself in a basin of water.

His face truly is lovely; here is a close-up of his face from the image viewer at the National Gallery of London, where the painting resides.

You can also find more myths and legends for the week of December 18-24 here. For more information and links to the actual javascript code, see the Myths & Legends Widget Reference Page.