A Writer’s Envy, Part VI: Coda–Orpheus on TV

painting of Orpheus holding his lyre in one hand and taking the hand of Eurydices in the other as they flee

Guest post by Scott Nadelson

By now it’s probably obvious that when I’m talking about envy, I’m really talking about influence. I want to learn from the visual artists I admire so much. I want to seek our common ground, to discover what we share, to strive toward what I find so powerful in their work.

As I’ve been writing about the exhibitions I recently saw in New York City, I’ve been thinking about one of our longest-lasting archetypes of the artist, one who serves as model or inspiration for writers, visual artists, and musicians alike. What is it about the story of Orpheus that keeps our attention so many years after lyre music has gone out of fashion?

Here’s a classical rendering of Orpheus.

Here’s a contemporary one by artist Maxim Tyminko.

And finally, Jean Cocteau’s cinematic version from 1950.

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