THE RIVERS OF HADES II : COCYTUS

cocytus
DE RIVIEREN VAN HADES II : COCYTUS

pen and watercolour on paper
2008 - 700 x 470 mm

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Cocytus is the second of the five rivers in the Greek Underworld, together with Acheron, Pyriphlegeton, Styx and Lethe, and the fourth work in my series on this subject.
At first, the work in this series I created after Acheron was called Cocytus as that is the logical sequence. But when I had created this one which was intended to be Styx, I immediately saw that this one must be the Cocytus, and the other one was the Styx. When one looks at the reddish glow in the distance, this automatically refers to the Pyriphlegeton.

Just like Richard Wagner spent decennia working on his Ring of the Nibelung, this series of five works spans a very long time of my life. When I write this, August 2013, I still have to begin working on Lethe. But just like in Wagner's Ring, the technical approach changes from work to work. Cocytus relies more on the watercolour than Acheron for example, and is as such also more painterly. But growth is normal in the evolution of every artist. And I can't create them faster than I do because I really do have to sense the atmosphere that comes with each river. Which may be the reason I'm so hesitant to start Lethe, the River of Forgetfulness.

Cocytus is the River of Tears, the river where the deceased have to wade through, digesting and balancing all the missed opportunities, deceptions and unrequited love-affairs from his or her past life. It is a sad work.