Encaustic on a wooden panel «Glossy Beetle»

Yulia Mamontova
«Glossy Beetle»
Encaustic on a wooden panel
15,7″ х 19,6
Painting was shown at the exhibition «Floral myths of Hellas», Russian Art Museum in Moscow (Russia, August. 2020).


I like to read the myths of ancient Greece and visualize legends in my own way. The beetle in my painting is author’s plastic, an interpretation of natural forms, the prototype of my sculpture is Carabus starckianus theseus Theseus (Theseus) King of Athens and one of the greatest heroes of Greece. Theseus performed his feats for the benefit of Athens.

Theseus performed his feats for the benefit of Athens. He dealt with the sons of Pallant and the marathon bull that ravaged the fields, defeated the man Minotaur. The monster, who lived in the maze, was given to eat the young Athenians as a ransom sacrifice for the death of the royal son in Athens. When Theseus volunteered to fight the monstrous Minotaur, his old father became desperate. They agreed that if Theseus escaped death, then, returning home, he would change the sail from black to white. Theseus, having killed the monster, got out of the maze thanks to his daughter Minos Ariadne, who loved him, following the thread tied at the entrance (the guide “Ariadne thread”). Then Theseus and Ariadne secretly fled to the island of Naxos. Here Theseus left the princess and fate punished him. Returning home, Theseus forgot to change the sail as a sign of victory. Father Theseus Egeus, seeing a black cloth, rushed off a cliff into the sea. Theseus performed a number of more exploits. He captured the queen of the Amazons Ippolita, who gave birth to his son Hippolytus, gave shelter to the outcast Oedipus and his daughter Antigone. True, Theseus was not among the Argonauts; at this time, he helped the king of the Lapifs Pirifoy kidnap the ruler of Hades Persephone. For this, the gods decided to forever leave the daredevil at Hades, but Theseus saved Heracles. At the age of old, Theseus audaciously abducted Zeus’ twelve-year-old daughter Elena, saying that only she was worthy of being his wife. But the brothers of Helena, Dioscurs, rescued their sister, and expelled Theseus. The hero died on the island of Skiros at the hand of the local king, who, fearing the still mighty Theseus, pushed the guest off the cliff. For the ancient Greeks, asthra symbolized love. I wanted to depict how a mighty hero who had experienced a lot found happiness in love, turning into a beetle.