Homeric Laughter
Homeric Laughter<br />
This image depicts the end results of Aphrodite&apos;s extra marital affair with Ares. In the center of the work you can see a woman reclined upon the bed and covering her face in shame, this is Aphrodite goddess of love and beauty and unfaithful wife to Hephaestus, atop her a man looks toward the gearing crowd with anger, this is Ares god of war and strife. To the right side of the bed you can see such figures as Hephaestus (Vulcan), Zeus (Jupiter) and Hermes (Mercury). In the image Aphrodite and Ares have been caught in extremely fine (to the point of being invisible, even to the gods) chains crafted by Hephaestus&apos; deft hands. The purpose of these chains was to capture the adulterous lovers in the heat of their passionate crime, and in this they proved successful snarring both of the lovers. With the lovers trapped Hephaestus calls upon all the gods to view his wife&apos;s shame. <br />
You can tell the man is Ares thanks to his armor(which is reminiscent of the armor worn by Greek hoplites, one of the key symbols of the god of war), which lies stripped on the floor. Next to the armor is a gathering of small baby-like creatures whom look eerily familiar to the cherubs of Renaissance art which could be representative of Eros (Cupid) the supposed love child of Ares and Aphrodite, whom is often depicted as a cherub-like being in post-classical works. This alone would give away the story, since this is the only mythic tale where Ares the butcher is caught making love to a woman in another god&apos;s bed. <br />
This work is set during the climax of the story. Hephaestus (Vulcan) already knows that he has an adulterous wife (Aphrodite) and that she is cheating on him with his half brother (Ares). The scene is set just after he has sprung his trap on the lovers exposing their affair to all of Olympus. To the amusement of the male members of the Greek pantheon.
In this depiction of the myth the artist chose to make the means of entrapment a visible net, presumably to make their entrapment all the more real to the audience. He also chose an anticipatory scene, just before the lovers are caught in the act. instead of a climatic one.<br /> 31.media.tumblr.com
Hephaestus is easily identifiable thanks to him wearing the worn out and damaged clothing of a blacksmith, a depiction specific to his person in the divine realm. He also carries a set of tongs in his belt and a hammer slung at his waist, again two more symbols of the forge god. If that isnt enough he seems to be inperfect, strangly enough in his arm (which is contradictory to the myth, as he is meant to be lame in the legs), when compared to the other figures which is fitting for the &quot;lame god&quot;.
Here you can see a figure that is certainly Zeus(Jupiter). Atop his head sits a crown, he is heavily bearded to express his age and authority and at his feat sits a mighty eagle. Peering out from behind his right shoulder is Dionysus (Bacchus) with a crown of grapes and his signature wine glass in hand. While to Zeus&apos;s left you can see Hermes (Mercury) signified by his signature winged helmet, he takes a role in the story by jesting with Apollo regarding the affair between Aphrodite and Ares. To his left the messenger god can be seen conversing with a figure almost entirely off the canvas, judging by his lighter curled hair and his proximity to Hermes one could make the argument that this figure is n fact Apollo. <br />

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