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Corinna, the love of the poet Ovidius, oil on canvas painting

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Corinna, the muse of the roman poet Ovidius, oil on canvas painting

Corinna, the muse of the roman poet Ovidius, oil on canvas painting

This is my oil on canvas painting of Corinna, the woman who has inspired the roman poet Ovidius. I don’t know if Corinna was a real woman or a creation of the poet’s mind. I painted her the way she is described in Amores, Book 1, Elegy 5:

 Book I Elegy V: Corinna in an Afternoon

 

 

It was hot, and the noon hour had gone by:

I was relaxed, limbs spread in the midst of the bed.

One half of the window was open, the other closed:

the light was just as it often is in the woods,

it glimmered like Phoebus dying at twilight,

or when night goes, but day has still not risen.

Such a light as is offered to modest girls,

whose timid shyness hopes for a refuge.

Behold Corinna comes, hidden by her loose slip,

scattered hair covering her white throat –

like the famous Semiramis going to her bed,

one might say, or Lais loved by many men.

I pulled her slip away –not harming its thinness much;

yet she still struggled to be covered by that slip.

While she would struggle so, it was as if she could not win,

yielding, she was effortlessly conquered.

When she stood before my eyes, the clothing set aside,

there was never a flaw in all her body.

What shoulders, what arms, I saw and touched!

Breasts formed as if they were made for pressing!

How flat the belly beneath the slender waist!

What flanks, what form! What young thighs!

Why recall each aspect? I saw nothing lacking praise

and I hugged her naked body against mine.

Who doesn’t know the story? Weary we both rested.

May such afternoons often come for me!