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Fiery number 6

Way back in October of 2010, Ferrebeekeeper featured a powerful series of posts about the children of Echidna, the ancient Greek “mother of monsters” who birthed so many of the scariest beasts of classical mythology. Among the hellish siblings born to her, there were all sorts of heterogeneous creatures—a lion, a dragon, a sow, a hydra, a sphinx, a giant eagle, and a mish-mash chimera (family dinners must have been extremely colorful)—but pride of place goes always to Cerberus, the three headed hell hound who guards the entrance to the underworld. Cerberus has fascinated artists, poets, and everyone else for thousands of years, and he still continues to do so. Despite the fact that the internet is filled with pictures, essays, and posts about the great monster dog of the underworld, he still garners attention. People really love the horrifying three-headed monster which forever prevented damned spirits from escaping the miserable realm of death: that is why the hellbeast Cerberus is the number 6 all-time most popular post on Ferrebeekeeper!

cerberus

The original post mentioned the main Greco-Roman myths which featured Cerberus and then showed a gallery of paintings, drawings, prints, and digital images of the big dog. In order to celebrate, here are yet more artworks of Cerberus.

The Story of Orpheus: Cerberus (Edward Burne-Jones, 1875)

The Story of Orpheus: Cerberus (Edward Burne-Jones, 1875)

Cerberus (Martin Boucher? late eighteenth century)

Cerberus (Martin Bouche? late eighteenth century, line engraving)

12th Labor of Hercules-Cerberus (Pierre Salsiccia, 2013, pencil drawing)

12th Labor of Hercules-Cerberus (Pierre Salsiccia, 2013, pencil drawing)

Hercules and Cerberus (Hans Sebald Beham, 1545, engraving)

Hercules and Cerberus (Hans Sebald Beham, 1545, engraving)

Juno Defies Cerberus and Enters Hades (Johann Wilhelm Baur German, c. 1639, etching)

Juno Defies Cerberus and Enters Hades (Johann Wilhelm Baur
German, c. 1639, etching)

Hercules and Cerberus (Antonio Tempesta, 1608, Print)

Hercules and Cerberus (Antonio Tempesta, 1608, Print)

Wow, there is a reason the great three-headed dog remains popular even as Ixon, the Hekatonkheires, and Nix are all forgotten!  Cerberus is an amazing subject for visual art (as well as being a dog, and all good-hearted people love dogs–even feisty problem pooches).

 

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