Need I say more than the title? I mean, really?
But here it is, from Lucienne, from her series, the character Eros, in all his glory —
Ah, what do we say about Eros? Hmm…Eros is the son of Aphrodite and Ares. As such, he’s a bit of a trouble-maker himself. You’d know him best as Cupid, his Roman counterpart, but try suggesting he should be cherubic, flying about on tiny little wings in a fluffy white diaper and see where that gets you!
He doesn’t just carry the gold kind, you know, the ones that are said to inspire love but which really spark desire or even obsession. He also carries lead for revulsion, which he put to good use when Apollo, being a bit full of himself over his own archery skills, mocked Eos’s own efforts with the bow and arrow. In an ‘I’ll show him’ moment, Eos shot Apollo full of love for the nymph Daphne, who was devoted to Artemis and thus chastity. Just to be sure the sun god’s persuasive powers didn’t win out, Eros shot the nymph full of lead (see, we Greeks did it first!). What followed was a not so merry chase at the end of which, Daphne, exhausted, begged her father, the river god Peneus, to turn her into a tree so that she could forever escape the attentions of men. Apollo, as you might imagine, has never forgiven him.
But for a god of love, Eos himself has had more than his fair share of heartbreak. Consider the famous story of Eros/Cupid and Psyche. Aphrodite, his mother, comes across a bit like the wicked stepmother in Snow White here. (In fact, she might have been the inspiration.) In short, Aphrodite had heard about this girl, who was said to be the fairest of them all. Men were neglecting Aphrodite’s temples to worship at this girl’s feet. The very nerve! So she sent her son (who can be seen as the huntsman in Snow White) to find this girl and if not kill then at least neutralize her by causing her to fall in love with the ugliest creature imaginable. But young Eros is too smitten with Psyche himself. Instead he rigs an Oracle to tell her family that Psyche is to marry no mortal man, but to be taken to the top of very high mountain where she will meet her groom. The groom is, of course, Eros, though he hides himself from her to avoid giving away his identity. He does, however, give her everything else she might want, including, I hear, a wedding night she’ll never forget! But her jealous sisters convince her that her husband must be some horrible monster to stay to the shadows. Thus, Psyche, psyched-out by her sisters, ambushes him with a candle and a knife, burning his shoulder when she leans in too closely. Eros, hurt by her betrayal, disappears, leaving Psyche to wander the earth, piteously searching for her husband.
Eventually, Aphrodite put her through some pretty tough tests before Eros, convinced now of her love, intervened on her behalf and brought her to Olympus where they, literally, lived happily ever after.