Skip to main content

The Myth of Orpheus and Eurydice

Natalia Popham

Natalia's mural follows the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice in the style of ancient Greek pottery. As a teacher and voracious reader she was inspired by the story of Orpheus and Eurydice from Classical Mythology. Known as one of the greatest epic love stories, it follows Orpheus, known in Greek mythology as the greatest musician of all time, through his relationship and tragic loss of his wife Eurydice. In despair, Orpheus follows his beloved into the underworld, with help from Hermes and his father Apollo. Aided by soulful singing and his lyre, Orpheus makes it through many trials before finally reaching Hades and Persephone to implore them to return Eurydice to the land of the living. Moved by his beautiful music and love for Eurydice, Orpheus wins over Persephone, who persuades her husband to grant him this favor. Hades agrees, on one condition. When they make the long trek back to Life Orpheus cannot look back at his wife, or she will return to death forever. Orpheus and Eurydice journey back to the land of the living, but he looks back and she is lost to him in death. Orpheus languishes in grief and plays music so heartbreaking even the animals and plants weep in despair, and he eventually dies from grief. With death he is finally reunited with his sweet Eurydice. 

Natalia Popham is a Northern Coloradoan artist. She chose this story because she is a Latin teacher and part of her class involves teaching Greek myths to students. She also included the finger-spelled letters in American Sign Language spelling “Orpheus and Eurydice.” She is deaf and uses a cochlear implant, and has had the experience of people telling her couldn’t possibly understand music. Although it is harder for her to access, music has played a significant role in her life and she wants to honor the Deaf community and communicate that they also have an important role to play in our community and in music itself.