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Björn Weckström: Narcissus, 1982. You may not use this photo for commercial purposes. © Photo: Helsinki Art Museum

Narkissos / Narcissus

Artist Björn Weckström

, Helsinki

The bronze Narcissus from 1982 is a critical and modernized retelling of the Narcissus myth, a story of the first narcissist, a youth who fell in love with his own reflection.

Narcissus, the son of the river god, was so beautiful that everyone who met him fell in love, yet so cold that he himself never loved anyone. The nymph Echo was one of the many who fell for Narcissus. She had broken against Hera and had been punished by an inability to speak before spoken to or to keep silent after hearing a sound. She followed Narcissus repeating his utterances incessantly but received no attention from him. In her unlucky love Echo withered until nothing but her voice remained, still living in forests and repeating everything it hears. This irritated Aphrodite, the goddess of love. Once when Narcissus was drinking from a spring she made him fall in love with his own reflection in the surface of the water. He gazed at his image cravingly, trying to reach it to now avail, until he was so tired that his head hung down towards the ground. Finally, Narcissus died and a white narcissus, beautiful but cold and rigid, grew in his place.

The work doesn’t belong to the collections of the Helsinki Art Museum.

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