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Paphos Mosaics 10 – Phaedra and Hippolytos

August 17, 2013


Firstly I apologise for the giant shaft of light that has crept into the picture. Whatever angle I tried I could not avoid it’s inclusion. Thankfully it does not distract from the central scene of Phaedra and Hippolytos.

The scene represents the moment after Hippolytos has opened and read the love note from his stepmother Phaedra. Hippolytos is caught in what appears to be a state of confusion whilst Phaedra is sat on her throne awaiting his response. Those who looked upon the scene would have been well aware of what happened following Phaedra’s rash declaration of love; Hippolytos’ death and Phaedra’s suicide. Although this moment of tension is frozen in time at the point of indecision the fates have already decided what is to pass.

Hippolytos is represented nude apart from hunting boots, spear and cloak draped over his shoulder, this portrayal may have been used to heighten the tension of the scene. The presence of an Eros with a flaming torch is used to represent Phaedra’s passion for her stepson.

This is a beautiful work that has been exceptionally preserved and is a testament to the work of the Cyprus Department of Antiquities.


From → Art

  1. Pete Laberge permalink

    They sure do not make them like that anymore! We have to get back to making real mosaics on floors as part of our architecture!

    • They certainly don’t, I stayed at one of my friends parents holiday homes last weekend and they had a geometric designed floor. It made me think that the skills are out there to do it and so maybe one day I could have something similar done. Modern architecture and design seems to focus on cost and not quality.

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