Hull Through the Eyes of a Sculptor

Sirens

Chris has chosen a title which can be read in a number of ways. 

For instance, a siren can be:

‘a device that emits a loud prolonged signal or warning sound’
(The Concise Oxford English Dictionary)

Sirens were also figures of ancient Greek mythology:

‘sea nymphs with the head of a woman and the body of a bird who lured sailors to their doom by their songs.’
(Halls Illustrated Dictionary of Symbols in Eastern and Western Art.)

The most well know story is that of Homer’s Odyssey in which Odysseus encounters the Sirens on his way home from Troy. Odysseus orders his sailors to fill their ears with wax to avoid hearing the Sirens sing. He meanwhile is tied to the mast of his ship, so he can hear but resist their deadly voices.

Scenes from mythology have always been popular with artists and the Ferens has another work with this subject, a large oil painting called ‘Ulysses and the Sirens’ by Herbert Draper. There are several versions of this work including one at Leeds City Art Gallery.

See Related Links below for the two versions of Herbert Draper's painting 'Ulysses and the Sirens'.

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