Charles William Mitchell (1854–1903): The Flight of Boreas

Charles William Mitchell (1854–1903): The Flight of Boreas

3/15/2021, 4:18:12 PM
Charles William Mitchell (1854–1903): The Flight of Boreas with Oreithyia, 1893, oil on canvas, 290 x 200 cm, Northumberland County Council Libraries, Newcastle, UK Charles William Mitchell was born just after the dissolution of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and with his work dismissed as being “similar in many ways” to that of John William Waterhouse. Mitchell's 'The Flight of Boreas with Oreithyia' depicts a scene from a mythological story, in which the god of North Wind abducts his betrothed, Orithyia, a mortal princess, by flying off with her. In Greek mythology, Orithyia was the daughter of King Erechtheus and Queen Praxithea in Athens. She was considered to be one of the most beautiful princesses of the age, and this beauty saw her catch the eye of Boreas, the god of North Wind . Boreas first attempted to seduce Orithyia, even going so far as to approach King Erechtheus as to ask his permission to marry his daughter. The words of Boreas did not convince Orithyia though, and as anger overtook the god, Boreas decided to abduct Orithyia instead. The opportunity to take Orithyia occurred when the daughter of King Erechtheus strayed outside the city walls of Athens, for Boreas came across Orithyia while she was dancing along the bank of the River Ilissos. Orithyia would subsequently become the immortal wife of Boreas, living with her husband in his palace upon Mount Haemus in Thrace, and she was named as the Greek goddess of the cold mountain winds.

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