Landscape from Cueva Ventana with Eurydice abandoned by Orpheus transformed into a Bird

Oil on Canvas 24″ x 30″

This painting is inspired by the majestic view from Cueva Ventana, a natural cave in the north side of Puerto Rico, on the karso zone. In this part of the island, limestone is the main rock and, throughout the ages, the abundant water underneath as well as rain have sipped into the rock, forming numerous caves.

How wonderful would be to be able to soar high above this landscape, to be able to escape from earthly cares and feel absolutely free reveling in the beauty of nature. That is the concept of this landscape painting.

I drew from the myth of Orpheus delivering his beloved Eurydice from Hades. Most people know the story which in summary tells how Eurydice was fatally bitten by a snake and how her husband Orpheus, filled with grief, entered the realm of Hades through a cave, tamed the monsters of Hell with the use of his lyre and his gift of music, and pleaded for the god of the underworld to allow her to return to the realm of the living. Orpheus almost succeeded in his attempt at delivering Eurydice, but once at the opening of the cave, he turned around to gaze on her face, and because Eurydice had not yet reached the daylight, vanished back into the underworld.

The myth of Orpheus and Eurydice has many interpretations, but I’m not depicting that story in my painting of the landscape of Cueva Ventana. In my visual narrative, Orpheus abandoned what is precious to him, his muse Eurydice and his lyre, and turned into a bird to freely soar high above the landscape.

I can’t tell what made Orpheus leave Eurydice along with his lyre at Cueva Ventana. Perhaps it was a deep disillusionment, one of those painful moments we sometimes experience where we question the reality of our beliefs and ideals. She lies there inert, and even the unplayed lyre is no longer of value without the master player. Orpheus flies afar, transformed into a bird. A car is seen below crossing the bridge across the river, oblivious to what is happening at the window of the cave high above in the face of the cliff. There is a glimmer of hope in the sight of the protruding branches, a proof that life clings even to the most unhappy circumstances.

Print sold


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