Vasile Stefanoiu

“Orpheus and Eurydice”

This is a unique work.
© Protected by copyright.
This sculpture is part of a series of sculptures that take sequences from the narrative context of legends of ancient Greek civilization and sculpt the result of my imagination in a new way of seeing in the modern era, different, sometimes suggesting movement in the process of metamorphosis.
The ancient Greeks understood that all human dramas revolve around the ubiquitous and inevitable experience of loss. Greek mythology revolves around this essential paradox of human life.
Our time is limited, our control is limited and from this is born the great emotion of human existence. We love intensely, because we know that our mastery is weak.
The love story of Orpheus and Eurydice exemplifies this principle in all its heartbreaking beauty.
According to legend, Eurydice, the wife of Orpheus, dies at their wedding being bitten by a snake. Orpheus prays to the gods to allow him to save her, descending into hell to bring Eurydice back to life.
The gods allow him to try, but on one condition - he does not have to look back at his wife who is following him. Orpheus respected this condition until the threshold of hell; but when he was ready to cross the fatal frontier, driven by the fear and impatience of love, he looked back. At that moment, the gods are faithful to their cruel promise, and Eurydice is pulled back into darkness and thus loses his wife a second time.
The despair caused by the final loss of Eurydice made Orpheus despise and insult the women of Thrace. Eventually, exasperated, they retaliated by tearing him to pieces, prey to the ecstasy specific to bahic orgies.
After his death, the shadow of Orpheus descends underground, into hell, he finds Eurydice, “Then lovingly they wandered side by side/ or he would follow when she chose to lead/ or at another time he walked in front/ looking back, safely,—at Eurydice.”, (Ovid, in "Metamorphoses", the eleventh book).
This last passage is the theme of my sculpture: when Orpheus turns his head and looks at Eurydice without fear because the gods could no longer punish him.
I sculpted the two characters in unusual shapes because they are both in a dreamlike, unreal environment, in eternity, he is a shadow and she is an illusion. I sculpted the lower half of Orpheus in bas-relief, going through the strange place of hell and the upper part of the body in three dimensions. I sculpted Eurydice with her body shape in the negative.
Video: https://youtu.be/9oX3aWzc-2A
https://youtu.be/ATydjAS-TIM

Factsheet

Dimensions
77cm, 46cm, 12cm (Height, Width, Depth)
Weight
42kg
Year
2021
Material
Video, Marble
All artworks from Vasile Stefanoiu