NejiTen: Hades and Proserpine Picture

"The Lord of Erebus became swollen with rage and, since he himself had no wife, threatened the gods with war because he wanted the joys of marriage and the happiness of paternity. Quickly the monsters of Hell formed ranks and the Furies swore an oath against the Thunderer [...]"

"But the goddesses of Fate who saw the danger knelt together before the Lord of Hell and touched his knees while they wept. It is their hands which govern all things, their calloused thumbs spin out the thread of fate and the endless ages are wound on their spindles [...]"

"[...] Here Proserpina was playing in a glade and picking flowers, pansies and lilies, with a child’s delight, filling her basket and her lap to gather more than the other girls, when, in a trice, Hades saw her, loved her, carried her away--love leapt in such a hurry! Terrified, in tears, the goddess called her mother, called her comrades too, but oftenest her mother; and, as she’d torn the shoulder of her dress, the folds slipped down and out the flowers fell, and she, in innocent simplicity, grieved in her girlish heart for their loss too."

The King of the Underworld, Hades, longed for a wife, and set his sights on Demetra's daughter, Proserpine, maiden of spring. One day, when Proserpine was playing in the meadows with wood and water nymphs, the earth cracked open and Hades sprung out on his chariot. He abducted Proserpine and took her with him to the Underworld.

Demetra searched everywhere for her daughter, to no avail: but a nymph named Arethusa revealed to her that she'd seen Proserpine by Hades' side in the Underworld. Demetra appealed to Zeus to free her daughter, but Zeus only tried to convince her that Hades was a good son-in-law to have, as he was the wise ruler of a great kingdom: but Demetra wouldn't hear a word of it, she wanted Proserpine back. Basically, she went on strike: and without the goddess of the fields to encourage the growth of vegetation, crops and entire forests died. Zeus sent his messenger Hermes to Hades, bidding him to free Proserpine; meanwhile, he also told Demetra that she could have Proserpine returned to her, but only if the girl had not eaten during her stay in the Underworld.

Hades knew of this, and he also knew that Proserpine had not eaten anything since the day he took her, because she was pining for fresh air, sunlight and freedom; and being the clever guy he was, a bit like Neji in fact, he tricked Proserpine into eating six pomegranate seeds. Nobody witnessed this but a boy called Ascalaphus, who reported it to Zeus. In revenge, Proserpine turned Ascalaphus into an owl.
Although Demetra protested, Zeus decreed that from that day onward, Proserpine would spend six months of every year in the Underworld with her husband, and the remaining six in the world of the living. And that's why we have spring and summer and, when Proserpine's with Hades, fall and winter.

Interestingly they're just about the only Greek/Roman deities who never cheated on each other. On one occasion a man called Pirithous decided he wanted Proserpine for himself, and travelled to the Underworld to steal her away. Hades welcomed him and pretended to be friendly, but the instant Pirithous sat down snakes coiled around his feet, trapping him forevermore. Hades never relinquished him.

In another story the nymph Minthe admired Hades' chariot, and was about to be seduced by him when jealous Proserpine intervened and turned her into mint. Sorry, Minthe, but that'll teach you to meddle with other women's husbands!

I've always been a big fan of Greek mythology, and lately I feel like drawing some of it- but I have trouble concentrating for long on any drawing that's not NejiTen-related: I compromise, as you can see. ^^
I might color it, but only if the right mood strikes.
Continue Reading: Ages of Man