Art Inspiration: A Gift From The Gods; Pandora: Athena


Pandora title

 

In my life I have had moments that inspire me to create and wonder about different possibilities. Working with children has always been a catalyst for these moments. On a number of occasions I have provided a drawing or art class for the children and their curiosity has inspired many ideas and creations. Some of these inspirations have produced scenes of me drawing them camping, or as characters from Harry Potter, but the majority of them enjoyed me creating a scene based on the Greek gods. I have posted this work so titled The Greek Gods, Distraction on Olympus”.

This experience was so enjoyable that I have been thinking of creating another scene from Greek Mythology for some time. In the next few weeks I will be posting the different characters of this scene and a little background info on each one.

I must emphasize that this drawing is not for the children in my school but an independent work I undertook for my own enjoyment. It is from my imagination and may be a bit adult.

 

Athena

 Athena’s birth is one unlike any other in antiquity.  Her father Zeus had relations with her mother Metis (meaning “wisdom”) and she became pregnant.  Zeus, fearing that she would give birth to a son that would eventually over through him devoured or swallowed Metis. 

Soon after Zeus began to have a terrible headache. Since aspirin wasn’t invented then, he instead got Hephaestus to split his head open with an axe.  Talk about your spitting headaches.  Once the head was open, a full-grown, beautiful woman dressed in full armor and carrying a spear, came out and yelled out a fierce war cry at her birth. 

From her birth we can see her divine characteristics.  She was the goddess of wisdom but also the goddess of war.  However unlike Ares, Athena was the honorable side of war that had tactics, strategies and glory from war and combat.  She also had a strong relationship with her father.  Probably because she was born of him and not from the traditional woman born.  Also another aspect of her character is she remained a virgin.  

Her accomplishments and symbols were numerous but I will touch on a few. 

  1. In the Pandora tale, Athena gave the gift of needlework and weaving.
  2. Her animal symbols where the owl and snake.  Hmm. wise owl interesting.
  3. Her other symbols include her armor, helmet, spear and aegis or shield that had the head of Medusa on it. 
  4. She was also seen with a small winged female with a crown of garland of success.  Her name was Nike meaning victory.  Hmm Nike – victory. Fascinating!
  5. One of her incredible tales includes a contest with Poseidon for the control or patronage of Athens.  The contest had both deities give a gift to Athens and the people would decide.  Poseidon struck a rock with his trident and a salt-water spring or horse came out.  Athena touched the ground with her spear and an olive tree came out.  Upon seeing the tree they proclaimed Athena the winner.  In the Acropolis, across from the Parthenon, the marks of where the trident struck can be seen, as well near by the olive tree.   This began the bad blood relationship between the two deities.  This was also the catalyst for the tragic story of Medusa.

I drew Athena as an athletic woman taking into account her skill as a warrior. Of course I added the Aegis and the spear, but I also wanted to show her as a woman. Her figure and dress helps to emphases this as well drawing her with long brown hair caressing her shoulders and breasts. Her face is very feminine even though in many traditional art of Athena she had very masculine traits.

I hope you enjoy my depiction of Athena, goddess of Wisdom and War from The Gift From The Gods; Pandora. 

Athena - goddess of Wisdom and War

Athena – goddess of Wisdom and War

 

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