charcoal drawings | The Myth of Orpheus
“Orpheus and Eurydice” C.W. Gluck | 2016
Orpheus was the son of Apollo and he was a very gifted musician whose music could charm mortals, animals and the trees. Eurydice was the wife of Orpheus and one day Eurydice was wandering with the nymphs and a shepherd named Aristaeus attempted to make advance toward Eurydice and she ran off. While running she was bitten by a snake and died. Being so grief stricken Orpheus played his sorrows in his music which was heard by gods and men.
In such need for his love he went in search Eurydice in the underworld. In the underworld he sang his sorrow with such perfection that Pluto, Proserpine and all of the ghosts of the underworld stopped. Orpheus’s song made Proserpine and Pluto grant him his desire. They let Eurydice leave with him under one condition; he could not look at her until they left the underworld.
When they nearly left the underworld Orpheus had forgotten his promise and wanted to assure that Eurydice was following him he looked at her and she was instantly gone. Orpheus didn’t even have a chance to hug his love. In such love for his wife Orpheus wanted to follow her in death. He wandered back into the underworld and kept playing his heartbreaking song. Orpheus’s singing had caused the Thracian maidens to get angry and screamed to drown out his overpowering music. The maidens ripped him apart and placed his remains at Libethra. Now in death Orpheus and Eurydice walk the fields together in true happiness.