ὅ παῖς καλός – Richard Armitage and the Fountain of Youth

Robert Ascroft released two new images of Richard Armitage this week that have generated a quite a lot of discussion and I’m happy to jump on the band wagon with a καλός offering.

The ancient Greeks valued youth and youthful vitality enormously, so much so that they personified the idea of youth in a goddess named Hebe ( Ἥβη).  A fairly minor player in Greek mythology,  Hebe was  the daughter of Zeus and Hera, the king and queen of the Greek pantheon.  Her principle role, until she was married to the deified hero Herakles, was as a cupbearer who served ambrosia and nectar to the other gods on Mount Olympus .  Hebe also had the ability to bestow eternal youth and to make the old young again

Hebe serving ambrosia and nectar to Hera Photo:  www.theoi.com

Hebe serving ambrosia and nectar to Hera
Photo: http://www.theoi.com

The pursuit of youth is certainly not unique to the Greeks.  Several lines of discussion on blogs this week addressed how youthful Richard Armitage appears in the image below.  I’ll allow that some of the youthfulness may be courtesy of Photoshop or other photographic “magic”, but the whole tone of the shot conveys an idea of youthful vim from the perch on a narrow seat to the untucked tee and unlaced Converse sneakers.

Picture of youthful vitality Photo by Robert Ascroft Courtesy of richardarmitagenet.com

Picture of youthful vitality
Photo by Robert Ascroft
Courtesy of richardarmitagenet.com

Youthfulness seems to be an element of life that we all wish to maintain in some shape or form.  In part, I think, youth is a state of mind.  I have known people who were “middle aged” in their twenties, but I have an 81 year young friend at church who yesterday expressed an interest in joining a laser tag outing.   I’m not surprised that Richard Armitage is able to convey a look that belies his actual years, even without sipping from Hebe’s nectar cup.  He’s admitted in past interviews to thinking of himself as younger than he is.  He’s also made no secret that he enjoys an active lifestyle and he’s pretty clearly physically fit.  All of the above speak of a youthful attitude inside that shows through.   In an industry where youth seems to be something of an obsession, I think he’s looking pretty good – ὅ παῖς καλός!

PS:  try scrolling up on this image slowly from bottom to top…I really like the impact!

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19 comments on “ὅ παῖς καλός – Richard Armitage and the Fountain of Youth

  1. Servetus says:

    Yeah, I saw this pic and thought of a lot of the various odes to youthful male beauty in the western canon. Sigh!

    • obscura says:

      On the one hand, I totally appreciate this instance of youthful male beauty. On the other hand, I’m envious of anyone who ages so beautifully…not enough to go all Bathory or anything, but….

  2. marieastra8 says:

    Yes and remember guylty’s *ooof* – the diagonal line that goes up the block of wood, though the erm, upper thigh, and the nose, centering the image. Very youthful. 😀

    • obscura says:

      I wish I could get some of that in a bottle! 😉 The youth I mean…

      • Leigh says:

        Yes, because it’s not just the static beauty, but the energy this image conveys, as if Richard is only an instant away from bounding up and dancing, running, building something. His expression says to me, “You, too, can be here,” even though it’s only possible for me in dreams.

        • obscura says:

          Yes, there is a sense of coiled energy here, of movement about to happen. Even if it’s generated by an “I wanna get off this block of wood” sentiment, it’s palpable to the viewer.

  3. guylty says:

    Ah, that is where Ambrosia creme comes from!!! And Armitage must have had a second helping of that. Some people are just lucky with their genes, I suppose. But I think youthfulness comes from a positive outlook on life, a willingness and a confidence to take on anything that life will throw at us and make the best of it. It keeps the mind flexible – and the life interesting. Anything is possible. I somehow feel from what I have read about Armitage in interviews that he operates like that. Lucky man.

    • obscura says:

      Yep.. I think he conveys all those qualities of being “young at heart”.

      And Ambrosia chocolates..hails from here in my home state of Wisconsin :). I didn’t put it together until I was writing this post that the modern Greeks have put Hebe (Ἥβη) in a can…I guzzle this stuff non stop in Greece, which must explain my youthful glow LOL! (In modern Greek it’s pronounced “ivi” and I just never put the two together until now 🙂

      Hebe in a can

  4. Joanna says:

    There is no hidden portrait, that’s for sure;)

  5. fedoralady says:

    I really think it’s the combo of good genes, an active lifestyle and a very youthful outlook–still open to the possibilities in life, still possessing a sense of wonder and whimsy, a playfulness. What a guy.

  6. fedoralady says:

    And I thought I was already following you but apparently I wasn’t–haven’t been getting alerts!

  7. katie70 says:

    Age is a state of mind. There is somewhere out there where Richard says about the same thing. My husband says when you are around younger people you feel younger. Maybe that is why we both work at school. My mom never worried about anything and looked very youthful until the cancer took that from her. She had very little gray at 67, before the cancer, not me I did the worrying for her. But I still don’t feel like I am as old as I am. Maybe it helps to have a dad that will be 90 in June (his dad lived to almost 103).

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