Demeter and Persephone

In Greek mythology, the goddess Persephone was abducted by Hades to be his bride in the underworld. Her mother Demeter mourned her loss and the earth became barren as a result. She pleaded with Zeus to return Persephone so they would not be separated.

'Demeter Mourning for Persephone'- Evelyn de Morgan, 1906
Zeus agreed but unfortunately Persephone had eaten some pomegranate seeds which meant that she couldn't leave the underworld. In order to restore the earth, they made a deal that Persephone could spend half the year with Hades and the other half with Demeter.

'Proserpine'- Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1874

The myth of Persephone and Demeter's separation and reunion was used to explain the cycle of seasons.

'The Return of Persephone' - Frederic Leighton, 1891

'The Fate of Persephone' - Walter Crane, 1877.

'Persephone' - Arthur Hacker, ca. 1889.

'Demeter' - Simon Vouet, 17th C.