Delaunay continued to paint works that restated his Orphic theories.
That “Orphic Paris” begins in a city threatened by avian flu only magnifies the confusion.
In late antiquity there was a consensus that Pythagoras himself had been initiated into the Orphic mysteries and derived much of his philosophy from Orphism (Proclus, Commentary on Plato’s Timaeus, 3.168.8).
Something parallel to this vision appeared, no doubt, in the ancient Orphic epics, which told of the centaurs, the old hippanthropes, those Titans with human heads and equestrian chests who scaled Olympus at a gallop, horrible, invulnerable, sublime—gods and beasts.
…Orphic poems and of the Chaldean Oracles, published in the second half of the 2nd century ce.
Throughout these days, I am making my way through “Orphic Paris,” Henri Cole’s portrait of the city and of his time living there.
The Orphic creeds were the basis of the Pythagorean brotherhood, which flourished in southern Italy beginning in the 6th century bc.
Orphic eschatology laid great stress on rewards and punishment after bodily death, the soul then being freed to achieve its true life.
Orphic eschatology laid great stress on rewards and punishment after the death of the body, the soul then being freed to achieve its true life.
Orphic religion, a Hellenistic mystery religion, thought to have been based on the teachings and songs of the legendary Greek musician Orpheus.
The Orphic movement was believed to be based on sacred writings by the hero Orpheus about purification from sin and rewards and punishments in the afterlife.
The emphasis on colour in these paintings, which are some of his most widely admired works, demonstrate the effect that Delaunay’s Orphic Cubism had upon him.
In imitation of the Orphic myth of Dionysus Zagreus, a rite was held in which the heart of a victim, supposedly a human child, was roasted and distributed among the participants to be eaten.
His Orphic style, adopted also by his wife, the painter Sonia Terk Delaunay (1885–1979), had an immediate influence on the work of Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider), a Munich-based group of Expressionist painters.
The Phaedo culminates in the affecting death of Socrates, before which he discusses a theme apposite to the occasion: the immortality of the soul (treated to some extent following Pythagorean and Orphic precedent).
The Orphic texts provide the popular parallel to the Platonic myth of Er in the 10th book of The Republic, where Plato somewhat recast Lethe and Mnemosyne into Ameles (“Unmindfulness”) and Anamnesis (“Recollection”).
It is possible to reconstruct a common pattern for these initiations of individuals, although an Orphic “church” never existed, and the doctrines of the many small communities of individualists varied on a broad scale.
Another type is seen in the Orphic tablets—texts on thin gold found interred with the remains of devotees of the Orphic salvation religion near Sybaris in southern Italy, near Rome, and at Eleutherna in Crete.
The Orphic Rhapsodies made her the daughter and successor of Phanes, a creator god; she continued to advise her own successors (Uranus, her son by Phanes; Cronus, youngest son of Uranus; and Zeus) by means of her oracular gifts.
Among the ancient Greeks, the Orphic mystery religion held that a preexistent soul survives bodily death and is later reincarnated in a human or other mammalian body, eventually receiving release from the cycle of birth and death and regaining its former pure state.
- having an import not apparent to the senses nor obvious to the intelligence; beyond ordinary understanding
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