Actaeon Beset by his Hounds
This variant is currently sold
Currency Collage on Museum Board Sealed with Wax, 2010
Artwork: 8 x 7.5 x .25 inches
Frame: 14.75 x 14.25 x 2.5 inches
Actaeon was a famous hero in Greek mythology. He was the son of Aristaeus, a herdsman, and Autonoe, and resided in the region of Boeotia. He was the pupil of the centaur Chiron. He somehow caused the wrath of goddess Artemis, eventually leading to his death. There are many and different recounts of the myth; however, they all revolve around the notion that he was a hunter that was transformed into a stag and was then killed by his hunting dogs.
According to the most popular version, provided by Callimachus, Actaeon accidentally saw Artemis naked, while she was bathing in the woods; amazed at her beauty, he was spotted by the goddess, who told him not to speak again or he would change into a deer. Upon hearing his hunting dogs, however, Actaeon called them and immediately transformed into a deer. So, he started running into the woods, but his well-trained dogs found him and tore him to pieces.
The myth of Actaeon was considered to represent human sacrifice in an effort to appease a deity.