The paintings of Soraya Bradley
- hope through beauty - the romantic realist paintings of artist, Soraya Bradley -
Soraya Bradley for web IMG_8682-1.jpg

Soraya's Journal

musings about art and life ...


Beyond the Sea - Creation of a Painting

The concept for this piece began way back in 2009.  Hero and Leander, the ancient myth, the original star crossed lovers

Hero, lived in the town of Sestos, served as a priestess of the goddess Aphrodite.Hero, was a great beauty so her family decided to win favour with the goddess Aphrodite and gave her to the temple to serve as a priestess.  Leander was from the town of Abydos, located across the sea.

Hero and Leander met at a festival and fell in love. However, because she was a priestess of Aphrodite, Hero was forbidden to marry. Succumbing to Leander's soft words, the lovers decided to see each other secretly. Each night Hero would leave a burning lamp in her tower window, and Leander would swim across the Hellespont, using the light to guide his way. Their tryst lasted through a warm summer.

Bad weather was coming and Hero begged Leander not to come the next night. He lightheartedly  insisted he would brave the storm. The following night she lit the lamp - just in case, when Leander saw the light - he decided to brave the storm. But the sea was wild, Leander lost his way.

Hero had a sleepless night and by first light was out searching the shore. She found his lifeless body washed up on the shore, she killed herself by jumping out of the tower.

The story began being told in Greece after the time of Alexander, around 300BC. The Several ancient poets, including Ovid* and Virgil*, told the tale of Hero and Leander. Some say it was inspired by a persian tale of Rudaba and Zal, thought to be the origins of the Rapunzel. 

In 1598 author Christopher Marlowe used the myth as the basis of his poem Hero and Leander. Byron, Keats, and Tennyson were other well-known poets who wrote of the lovers. Shakespeare also mentions Hero and Leander in several plays, "Two Gentlemen of Verona, Much Ado About Nothing,  A Midsummer Night's Dream and As You Like It:

Beyond the Sea by Soraya Bradley