|In collaboration with Michelangelo|
and Selkis (website)
On the gates at the main entrance of Love's palace two mythological episodes are carved---and it is interesting to wonder why these ones, among the dozens of love stories provided by Greek mythology. The first panel (2.23-27) in fact shows Proserpina being abducted by Pluto, the god of Hades; the second (2.28-32), the birth and triumph of Bacchus. Many of Marino's favorite themes seem to be summarized in these two stories: on the one hand, love as a violent passion, in a Freudian connection with death, and on the other hand, the marvel of natural and/or supernatural processes, the physical joys of life, Nietzsche's "Dionysian."
On the other side you can see, carved,
the young god worshiped by Ganges Bacchus (see The Lusiads)
when still undeveloped, not born yet,
Jove pulls him out of his mother's womb--- Semele, incinerated
his father becomes his mother---then fed inside one of Jupiter's legs
by the Nisa nymphs, he honors the woods.
A strange and marvelous fetus, who
was conceived once, twice delivered.