Timothy W. Jahn
Charon: The Ferryman
Oil on panel
20 x 16 inches
Greek mythology is filled with a wealth of imagery that attempts to clarify the unknown. While researching mythology, I stumbled upon the story of Charon the Ferryman. Charon is the Ferryman of Hades who is said to transport the souls of the newly deceased down the river Styx. For a small fee he assures your soul makes it to its eternal resting place. Our fear of the ever after and the unknown helps to make this myth so powerful. While we are all painfully aware of our own mortality; we can accept our fate. While Charon would certainly invoke fear in me, the alternative of wondering the shores of the river Styx alone for one hundred years seems far worse. The painting is an attempt for me to face my fear.
The name Charon is most often explained as a proper noun from χάρων (charon), a poetic form of χαρωπός (charopós), “of keen gaze”, referring either to fierce, flashing, or feverish eyes, or to eyes of a bluish-gray color. The word may be a euphemism for death. Flashing eyes may indicate the anger or irascibility of Charon as he is often characterized in literature, but the etymology is not certain. The ancient historian Diodorus Siculus thought that the ferryman and his name had been imported from Egypt.
* Some of this information was found on line at: http://www.sccs.swarthmore.edu/users/08/ajb/tmve/wiki100k/docs/Charon_(mythology).html
Rehs Contemporary Galleries, Inc., New York City