The Fall of Phaeton (Poster)

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by Peter Paul Rubens, c. 1604/1605

Posters are sent rolled in a strong cardboard tube.

Used as artwork on:
Arghoslent - Galloping Through the Battle Ruins, 1998

There is a story that even you Greeks have preserved, that once upon a time, Phaethon, the son of Helios, having yoked the steeds in his father's chariot, because he was not able to drive them in the path of his father, burnt up all that was upon the earth, and was himself destroyed by a thunderbolt. Now this has the form of a myth, but really signifies a declination of the bodies moving in the heavens around the earth, and a great conflagration of things upon the earth, which recurs after long intervals.

The horses bolted in an erratic pattern, so that Earth either froze because the Sun Chariot was too far away, or it was scorched by the Sun's heat. At left, the Horae, butterfly-winged female figures personifying the seasons, which represent the harmony and order of the universe, are reacting in terror as Earth below bursts into flame. Even the great astrological bands that arch through the heavens are disrupted. Outside the picture frame, Jupiter (Zeus), the supreme god, has just unleashed a thunderbolt aimed at Phaeton in order to save the universe from complete destruction. As the chariot disintegrates and the horses tumble apart, Phaeton plunges to his death.