http://felixdeon.com/Hist/OfferingsForAntinous2.html here is a link to purchase the painting
http://felixdeon.com/Hist/OfferingsForAntinous2P.html here is a link for a more inexpensive print
The first part of the diptych. Here is a link to the painting
and the print:
Antinous was the young lover of the Roman emperor Hadrian. He was famed for his exquisite beauty, and he died tragically (and mysteriously) young, by drowning in the Nile. It is unclear if his death was murder or suicide. Hadrian was inconsolable; he afterwards declared his young charge a god, and temples were built to him throughout the Roman Empire; he became symbolic of gay love, and was associated with Apollo and the sun. A great novel by Marguerite Yourcenar is about this love affair; its one of my favorite books. It is a deeply intellectual book, and highly recommended. It is not really light reading; in any case, a link follows besides this entry.
I imagined my painting as being a procession or ceremony for Antinous, which would have taken sometime in the century after his death. I imagine it as taking place on the estate of a wealthy Roman, in the Italian countryside, who has invited his friends an the beautiful young boys of the local village to participate. They carry flowers and caged birds, and drape wreathes around his statue. The young nobleman is the man with the black hair and green cloak, with his arms about the shoulders of his lover, to the fare right of the upper image.
Bellow, is a photo of one of the panoramas I did when I was going to make this image. If you compare the photo to the paintings, you can see that Pete was the model for most of the boys. Click on the image to enlarge it, since it looks so small here.