Art Inspiration: The Greek Gods Distraction on Olympus: Dionysus


“Distraction on Olympus” is a project I worked on with my students at the school I work in.  It was a final project in a drawing club the children where in when I taught them how to draw in the style of comic and cartoon characters, they were most familiar with.  The class had decided to go with the theme of the Greek gods and I would help them draw a scene around that idea.

In the process of creating the scene, the children asked to be represented as the gods in the project.  They choose their own character of who they wanted to be.  Dionysus was not on anyone’s radar but I suggested him to a boy who I thought brought out Dionysus character traits.  As with many of the children he wanted Zeus or Poseidon but after I told him about Dionysus he liked the idea.

Dionysus is the son of Zeus and a mortal Semele, daughter of Cadmus.  Hera was jealous and convinced her to trick Zeus into revealing his full divinity to her.  Of course she burst into flames when he did so but Zeus retrieved the unborn child and placed it into his thigh until it matured.  He was raised by nymphs and Semele’s sister Ino on the mountain of Nysa.

Dionysus is the god of vegetation but most particularly fruit of the vine or grape and the making and consumption of wine.  He represents the emotional and irrational side in humans.  The violence, fanaticism or extremism and the ecstasy and religious experiences; he is both the yin and yang.

A famous poem, the Homeric Hymn of Dionysus, recounts the story when pirates captured him.  They kidnapped him and tried to tie him to the mast but the ropes would not stay on.  Only the helmsman realized they have captured a god, but his warnings to the crew were ignored.  He created miracles on the ship that astonished the crew.  He creates a vine that twisted around the mast that produced flowers and grapes.  He created a ferocious bear and he also turned into a lion.  The sailors were so frightened they jumped off the ship and were instantly turned into dolphins.   He revealed to the helmsman his true identity and he took pity on him.  He spared his life, one of the few gods to show mercy.

I created Dionysus lying under and apple tree sleeping.  I also added a wine urn to say that our buddy here is just sleeping off a good few hours of drinking. A reference to his wine which he is associated with.   The child liked the idea and I told him that Dionysus was the original party animal.  He liked that idea too.

Hope you enjoy.


Dionysus: god of vegetation but most particularly fruit of the vine or grape and the making and consumption of wine.

Dionysus: god of vegetation but most particularly fruit of the vine or grape and the making and consumption of wine.


One Response to Art Inspiration: The Greek Gods Distraction on Olympus: Dionysus

  1. Pingback: Art Inspiration: The Greek Gods Distraction on Olympus: Apollo | Paul Gauchi

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