Sappho on the Leucadian cliff. Guérin, Pierre-Narcisse. Painting. France, early 19th century. ГЭ-7242. Off-site.
Sculpture of Sappho. Clesinger, Jean-Baptiste. Sculpture. France, early 19th century. Н.ск-901. Off-site.
The third and most popular ancient lesbian narrative is the life of ancient greek poet Sappho of Lesbos. Poetry brought her international fame. Sappho also established a club of women in the city, which, among other things, welcomed same-sex relations. Her name and the name of her place of birth gave life to the terms “lesbian” and “sapphic”.
Sappho’s poetry was lost with time. Most of what we know came to us retold by others, but that didn’t diminish her fame. The poet has been very popular with artists. Few, however, dared to portray her with another woman—most often, Sappho is alone. Examples of such works are presented in the Hermitage collection.