Adonis, the beautiful youth, born of the myrrh tree, loved by both Aphrodite and Persephone, hardly needs any introduction. His legend, of Oriental origin, spread early and rapidly to Greece and Italy. In Athens, his cult is attested as early as the 5th century, though representations of him in the arts remain surprisingly rare. Not so in South Italy, where from the early 4th century on his myth inspired some of the greatest vase-painters, especially in Apulia.
As the present systematic and richly illustrated analysis of his representations in South Italian Vase-painting shows, Adonis played in Magna Graecia a much more important role than had hitherto been suspected.
Alexander Cambitoglou is Director of the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens and former Honorary Curator of the Nicholson Museum.
1: Arbitration by Zeus or Kalliope
2: Adonis dying
3: Adonis in the Underworld
4: Adonis and Persephone
5: Adonis with Persephone in Aphrodite’s presence
6: Adonis’ anodos
7: Adonis’ anodos with Aphrodite
8: Aphrodite’s anodos
9: Adonis on Mount Olympos
10: Adonis (standing) and Aphrodite (seated)
11: Adonis offering a hare (or a bird) to Aphrodite
12: Adonis musicus with Aphrodite
13: Aphrodite musica with Adonis
14: Adonis and Aphrodite as lovers
15: Aphrodite mourning
16: Myrte mourning
17: Adonis banquetting with Dionysos
18: Echoes – Eros rising from the Underworld
Size: 297 × 210 mm
Publication: 01 Mar 2019