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La Sirène (1887) - Arnold Böcklin [aka La Mer calme], image sourced here.

La Sirène (1887) - Arnold Böcklin

In Greek mythology, the Sirens or Seirenes were sea nymphs who lived on an island called Sirenum scopuli which was surrounded by cliffs and rocks. Approaching sailors were drawn to them by their enchanting singing, causing them to sail on the cliffs and drown. They were considered the daughters of Achelous (by Terpsichore) or Phorcys (Virgil. V. 846; Ovid XIV, 88). Their individual names are variously reported as Aglaope, Leucosia, Parthenope, Pisinoe, and Thelxiepia.

According to some versions, they were playmates of a young Persephone and were changed into the monsters of lore by Demeter for not interfering when Persephone was abducted (Ovid V, 551).

The term "siren song" refers to an appeal that is hard to resist but that, if heeded, will lead to a bad result. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siren [Mar 2005]

See also: 1877, Arnold Böcklin, symbolism

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