Herakles was the last mortal son of Zeus, ruler of all the gods, and one of the best known heroes in Greek and Roman mythology. He is best known for his strength and the deciding factor in the triumphant victory of the Olympians over the giants. “His life was not easy–he endured many trials and completed many daunting tasks–but the reward for his suffering was a promise that he would live forever among the gods at Mount Olympus.”(History Staff) Herakles endured many different tasks due to his stepmother casting a spell on him and forcing him to kill his wife and two children. Then, when he went to Apollo to be punished for his actions, Apollo understood that the doing was not his fault, but instead sent him on missions, 12 “heroic labors”. After he completed each enduring task, he still managed to complete many more different adventures until the day he died when Athena brought him to Mt. Olympus.
Athena was daughter of Zeus who, mythology states, was born from Zeus’ forehead and was the favorite child who had great power. “Goddess of wisdom, war and the crafts, and favorite daughter of Zeus, Athena was, perhaps, the wisest, most courageous, and certainly the most resourceful of the Olympian gods.” (Cartwright) She...
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...g a liquid for Herakles. Athena could be giving him a drink after a long day out of pure kindness.
After reviewing all aspects of this painting from its physical description to its historical context, the piece of art has taught me a great deal of information. I have learned many new facts about Ancient Greece that I never would have know before. Greek mythology has always intrigued me in or one or another and learning new information about Herakles and Athena has shown me different sides to them. I never realized how unintelligent Herakles was before or how important Athena was to the Greeks. She played a very important role in everyday society that the Greeks worshiped. Researching this specific painting has taught me a lot more than just visually seeing the picture. That is why I have such an appreciation of art and the stories that are held within the pictures.
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