In honor of Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d post The Death of Hyacinth (oil on canvas, 1801, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Poitiers) by the French painter Jean Broc (1771 – 1850).
The work shows Apollo cradling his dead lover Hyacinthos, who was killed after being struck in the head by a discus blown off course by Zephyros. According to one version of the myth, Zephyros loved the beautiful youth who spurned him for Apollo.
Apollo is shown with a quiver of arrows because he was the god of archery, but the arrows made me think of Cupid. Also, I thought the tragic scene was a fitting tribute to Valentine’s Day, seeing that sometimes love hurts.