Return of Persephone, 1891
Leeds City Art Gallery,
Leeds, England
Persephone was the daughter of Demeter (the goddess of agriculture). One day they were in the field together, and she was kidnapped by her uncle, the god of the underworld, Pluto. Pluto had fallen in love with her and refused to give her up. Demeter became depressed, and no plants grew. Jupiter, also known as Zeus, went to Demeter and begged her to let the plants grow. She said that she would return to work if Persephone was returned to her. Jupiter agreed to force Pluto to release Persephone if she had not eaten fruit from the underworld. Unfortunately, Persephone had one bite of a pomegranate. Since she had eaten three seeds, Jupiter said that she must stay in the underworld for three months. In spring Persephone is returned to Demeter.