Cornelis Corneliszoon van Haarlem: The Fall of Ixion (1588)

(Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

This is a scene from Greek mythology. Ixion was the king of the Lapiths, a legendary tribe in Thessaly. Ixion married Dia and promised his father-in-law Deioneus a valuable bride price. Ixion didn't pay the bride price and Deioneus reminded Ixion of his promise. Ixion invited Deioneus to a feast but when the guest Deioneus arrived, Ixion killed Deioneus by pushing him into a bed of flaming coals (the first man guilty of kin-slaying in Greek mythology). Because of the violation of the ' guest-friendship', Ixion went mad and lived as an outlaw. The god Zeus however had pity on Ixion and brought him to Olympus as a guest to the table of the gods. instead of being grateful, Ixion tried to seduce Hera, the wife of Zeus (a further insult to 'guest-friendship'). Zeus found out and kicked Ixion out of Olympus with a thunderbolt. Ixion fell into Tartarus (this is the scene which is depicted on the painting) and was bound to a spinning burning wheel for all eternity as a punishment. Painting from 1588.

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