Diana Probst: Sketching the gods

Laocoon by Diana Probst

Diana Probst is a professional artist based in Cambridge, UK. Diana has kindly given me permission to reproduce some of her sketches of ancient Greek scultures. Below the images, Diana adds some remarks on her choice of subject and the influence of Greek culture on her work. First is a sketch of Nike, the Greek goddess of victory.

Diana writes: ‘I could never be the artist I am without the influence of Greek culture. The development of statuary from the stylised Egyptian traditions to the fluid, lifelike stone work of the city states created work that I love to look at today. This is one of my earliest sketches, the lines solidified to allow me to recreate it in ink with no tonal work. To get there, I had to sit in a cast museum, surrounded by images that were two thousand years old. The Aphrodite of Knidos was […]

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Charles Fernyhough: The goddess Athena

Detail from black-figure ceramic amphora depicting the birth of Athena from Zeus' head,

Charles Fernyhough

The goddess Athena sprang, fully armed, from a bump on her father’s head. Other versions of the myth associate her birth with water, with a stream or a lake, which may reflect her origin in the earth goddesses of the pre-Hellenics. In Greek mythology, however, she is a virgin goddess. In Book Seven of the Odyssey, she appears to Odysseus as a little girl in pigtails, hugging a water jug. The poet tells us that she retains her grey eyes, and yet her divine disguise is not compromised: Odysseus does not recognise her. Our daughter Athena was also born with grey eyes, for me at least the ultimate vindication of our name-choice. A prophecy had been fulfilled, and it was just one of the things I was delighted about. It took a few weeks for me to be relieved of this delusion, and have it gently pointed out […]

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