po-river

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In order to discover whether he is truly the son of the sun-god, Phoebus, Phaeton asks to test his powers by driving Phoebus’s chariot. Terrified by the dizzying height and the fearsome animals of the zodiac, Phaeton abandons the route prescribed for him, descending so low that he causes the Earth to burst into flames. The horrified stars and planets complain to Jupiter, who strikes Phaeton and the chariot with a thunderbolt. The horses fall, the chariot breaks into pieces, and Phaeton is thrown into the river Eridanus, a prefiguration for the river Po. The river god Eridanus waits to receive him, stretched out among a bed of reeds. (Ovid’s text describes how their tears become drops of amber). Obviouslu, such piece of Mythology has inspired very many artists, among which Raphael, Michelangelo, Goltzzius, Rubens and many more inclusive of the maker of this Fall of the Phaeton circa 1800 Gilt-Bronze MantelL Clock from the Consulat Period where the symbolism fits to perfection, readdressing France’s authority after the Revolution’s induced fall of the Monarchy