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Adolf Hirémy-Hirschl (Hungarian, 1860-1933)

  • Souls on the Banks of the Acheron, 1898
     (details and full painting)

Hermes guides the souls who have just descended to the underworld. He is their last light. The souls desperately reach for him, fearful of the eternal darkness.

The souls of the children are peaceful and unafraid.

Carl Jung considered Hermes the divine messenger, communicating between the light of the everyday world and the darkness of the unconscious: dreams, madness, and death.

"The dissatisfied shades crowd around Hermes as he strides among them and implore him to relax his step, to stay the march of doom. But Hermes walks on regardless, with the calm inexorableness of a god, walks on and past the craving throng." - Helen Zimmern, The Art Journal, 1900

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