40 Drawings in 40 Days – #31 – Apollo

Having drawn Artemis yesterday, I had a strong feeling Apollo – her twin brother – would be up next.  While Artemis was associated with the moon, her brother is the god of the sun.  Among other things in a wide ranging portfolio, Apollo is also, fact fans, the god of plague.  That is something that piques my interest because the history of plagues is one of my nerdy interests.  The odd thing about this particular part of Apollo’s job description is that, as much as he was a bearer of disease and death, he was also the god of healing.  Gives with one hand and takes with the other.

Like his sister, Apollo’s weapon of choice was the bow and arrow.  Indeed, when he was only a few days old, he killed a dragon named Python in order to protect his mother, Leto, as Hera had sent the dragon to kill Leto.  A cheery story involves Apollo and Artemis working together with poisoned arrows.  A queen of Thebes named Niobe claimed she was a better mother than Leto because she had seven sons and seven daughters.  In disproportionate revenge for this rather bizarre slight, Artemis shot all of the daughters and Apollo shot all of the sons.

As tempting as it was to try and find a way to draw Apollo in relation to plague, no ideas formed in my mind.  I, therefore, decided to stick with the sun god route.  I drew Apollo as a bust and placed his head in front of a sun symbol, the triangular rays of which I coloured with my gold ink.  The effect is reminiscent of a halo.  That reminds me that I believe there is a connection between the early iconography of Jesus and depictions of Apollo, the former being influenced by the latter.  It also reminds me that I would love to experiment with using gold leaf (or at least fake gold leaf) in my art at some point.

31b - Apollo

Golden Boy Apollo

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