37. Eyes - Argus Picture

For the 100 Theme Art Challenge, "Eyes".

Derived from the Greek myth of the death of Argus, the watchman with a hundred eyes, servant of Hera. After he was killed, Hera came to take his eyes and placed them into Peacock feathers (I love this myth, it's a beautiful metaphor for the characteristic iridescent-blue centre of Peacock feathers).

The story goes like this: Zeus had seduced Io (a nymph) when Hera (his wife) arrived on the scene. Zeus transformed the nymph, Io, into a cow to hide his infidelity, but Hera wasn't fooled. When Hera asked, Zeus was obliged to give her the cow. Hera appointed her servant Argus to guard the cow, and Hermes, at Zeus' command, killed Argus.

According to Ovid (Greek poet), Argus had "the hundred eyes / All watching and on duty round his head, / Save two which took in turn their sleep and rest". The following lines tell that Zeus sent Hermes to slay Argus and set Io free. Hermes sang Argus to sleep, used his magic wand to seal Argus's eyes shut, and decapitated Argus. Hera was furious about the death of her servant Argus, and she "retrieved those eyes to set in place / among the feathers of her bird and filled / his tail with starry jewels", creating the eyes of the peacock.
Continue Reading: Io