The exhibition is the anthology of artwork concerning the Greek myth “The abduction of Europe”.
The artist, Irina Paltseva, lives and works in Krasnodar, Russia. She is a legal graduate, who worked as legal counsel before later becoming a judge. She is now retired and dedicates all her time to painting.
The myth about the abduction of beautiful Europe by Zeus, who had turned into a bull, is one of the most reproduced and interesting stories in the history of art. It praises love, the readiness to get over obstacles and the acceptance of fate.
According to Metamorphoses by Ovid, a daughter of the Phoenician’s king, Europe, was gathering flowers on a meadow with her playmates, when Zeus decided to abduct her by turning into a bull. Through cares and endearment he earned her trust. As soon as Europe sat on him, he galloped away and swam with the beautiful girl to Crete. On the island Europe gave birth to three sons.
This myth is not only a poem about love. Its form, having been repeated many times became a powerful structure, which brings new meanings and metaphors to life.
The route through the Aegean Sea was crucial not only for Europe, but for Odyssey and many others heroes. Going through fear and challenges to complete what was predestined, the heroes created the myth.
The movement from East to West and back had existed for centuries. The pendulum of history moves nations, the prisoners of that movement. Today a long line of Syrian refugees moves from East to West. This route from Syria, Lebanon and Iraq to the Greek islands, Italy and Europe was laid by the myth.
We may say that nowadays the story about the abduction of Europe is again relevant.
At the exhibition you can find copies of famous artwork by Jean Cousin the Elder, Gustav Moro, Valentin Serov, an antique vase, mosaics and a modern version of Europe’s story.
We turn towards antique legacy in science, theatre, cinema, and painting. The antique myths have created a foundation for the universal culture; they are a powerful magnet, which gives us emotional support.
Today more than ever we need hope. We try to understand what is real value in society. Turning to the myth about Europe is a reminder for the message of love, sent to the continent by the Gods’ will. The archetype of Europe lives in our conscience as a symbol of acceptance of fate, which is joined with hope for a peaceful future under the sun and stars.