Sappho

Sappho by GleyreSappho was one of the greatest poets of the ancient world. She was born on the Greek island of Lesbos in the 7th century BC. A native of Lesbos is known as a Lesbian, and in English this word has come to mean a homosexual female due to the homoerotic nature of some of Sappho’s poems. The word “Sapphic” is sometimes used as a synonym of Lesbian.

The picture above is adapted from the painting “Sappho’s bedtime” by Charles Gleyre (1806 – 1874). The one below is from Édouard-Henri Avril (1849 –1928). Both scenes include a lyre, which was a harp-like musical instrument used to accompany poetry in ancient times.

Sappho by Avril

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