Achilles Picture

The goddess Thetis, a beautiful creature of the sea, caught the eye of Zeus, and he desired her until he discovered a prophesy related to her that suggested that any child of hers would be greater than his father. Having overthrown his own father and paranoid the same might happen to him, Zeus prudently decided to marry Thetis off to minimize the risk that her offspring might one day challenge Olympus.

He found her husband, a mortal king named Peleus. All of the gods attended the wedding, and it was during the celebration that Eris, goddess of discord, appeared uninvited. She tossed an apple inscribed "to the fairest" on the table and left the goddesses to fight over this prize of vanity. Years down the road, this even leads directly to the Trojan War.

Thetis has a son - Achilles. Being a sea goddess, she senses prophecy herself and realizes her son will die young. To insure this doesn't happen, she takes him to the dark waters of the river Styx, the river of the dead by which all oaths by the gods are mare sworn, and dips him. Only the heel by which she holds him isn't touched by the water, which makes him proof against harm.

Achilles grows into a beautiful young man with incredible agility and strength for one so fair, but Thetis does her best, despite her extraordinary precautions, to keep him from battle.

So when Odysseus comes to his kingdom to enlist him on the side of the Greeks against the Trojans, Achilles reluctantly obliges his mother by dressing as a woman and blending in with the court ladies until sly Odysseus tricks him into revealing himself by offering Achilles a magnificent sword. By the reverent way Achilles handles it, Odysseus guesses his identity. He must have been beautiful indeed to trick the eyes.

Unmasked, Achilles joyfully joins the Greeks. He is the greatest source of inspiration to the soldiers, personally killing many of Troy's sons until the King he serves, Agamemnon, decides to show how kingly he is by seizing Achilles serving girl. Achilles thereafter refuses to go into battle, holding back his men, the Myrmidons as well. Even as the Trojan prince Hector kills many Greeks, Achilles stubbornly refuses to fight, even when his lover Patroclus begs him to stop the slaughter.

Patroclus decides he'll rally the Greeks instead, donning Achilles armor and this works for a time, until Hector sees him and kills him. The loss of his lover enrages Achilles, who takes up arms once again and drives the Trojans back into the walls of their city.

The death of Achilles comes when he is shot through the heel with a poison arrow by the cowardly Trojan prince Paris. There is no hero to match his glory in Greek culture, and even Alexander the Great idolized him.

In this scene Achilles, mad with rage, races through the burning city of Troy. He is only moments from his death.

The model's name is Rory Williams who lives in the UK and asked if I could somehow do something with him in the tradition of the movie posters from the movie "Troy", a film that, despite having Brad Pitt, was pretty bland and mythologically vacant. I really love the energy Rory put into the pose, particularly his yell.

His armor references come from a statue from Drezdany-stocks at this [link]
Continue Reading: Troy