The statue group of "Eclipse" is a rendition of two important and diverse Greek deities , Apollo and Artemis. In myth, the divine twins, brother and sister, were conceived from the union of Zeus, the Olympian lord, with Leto. Apollo was primarily the god of light, and also equated with Helos the Sun. Artemis was venerated as the goddess of the hunt, and was strongly identified with Selene, the moon deity. "Eclipse"interprets a myth which relates the story of a satyr, Marsyas, who displayed hubris when he challenged Apollo to a musical contest. With the Muses as judges, the two entrants were declared equal, but Apollo decreed that in the next round they should accompany their instruments with song. Apollo played the lyre and thus was able to sing, whereas Marsyas' chosen instrument, the flute, made it impossible for him to compete. Consequently Marsyas lost the contest, and the satyrs fate was to be flayed alive by Apollo, his blood became the river Marsyas.
Apollo's associations as a deity were prophecy, healing and the arts, especially music, but Included also were plague and destruction. The Greeks often associated Apollo with the verb apollymi, which means to destroy and many stories allude to a dual persona of divine beauty coupled with a vengeful and ruthless aspect. In common with her brother, Artemis had a dark side, and would retribute any dishonourable act. In a myth, Adonis the mortal lover of Aphrodite claimed to be a superior hunter to Artemis, so the insulted goddess sent a wild boar into the forest, and he was gored to death.
In another myth, Artemis and Apollo were enraged when, Niobe, the queen of Thebes, boasted that she had borne seven girls and seven boys, where as Leto, their mother had borne only one of each. The divine twins assassinated the majority, two children were spared to the grieving Niobe, and finally all were turned to stone. In ancient Greece dishonorable acts or even statements were a serious matter, and acts of hubris in myths are arguably a narrative expression of a culture, where rulers justifyed their power as divinely ordained.
Artemis was a widely worshiped deity in ancient times, with origins which were pre-Greek. Regional appropriation meant that a diverse goddess such as Artemis could be Artemis Aeginea ( spear carrier ) to the Spartans, who evoked her grace by offering sacrifices before battle, or Artemis Locheia ( patron of childbirth ) in another region.
Apollo as god of light was often represented with a golden halo in Roman times. This pictorial device was retained in Christian imagery , with the earliest representations of Christ being a beardless and haloed young man. The Greek gods had developed from earlier deities , and as anthropomorphic divinities continued to influence religious iconography into the modern age.