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
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.
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!