The word "apotheosis" is of ancient Greek origin, and it consists of two words. The literal translation is "turning into god." The original meaning of the word apotheosis is among the concepts of praise, glorification and deification. Most likely, the apotheosis is an eastern "invention". Proof can be the history of the Egyptian or Chinese dynasties.
Initially, apparently, it was a question of rituals in which real historical figures were praised, their merits and positive qualities acquired an exceptional character. Thus, mortal heroes were gradually endowed with superhuman (divine) attributes, it was also meant that their existence continued in the afterlife.
Such was the process of the deification of Alexander of Macedon, whose cult, even during his lifetime, forced those close to him as a descendant of Zeus. In the Roman Empire, after the fall of the republic, emperors recalled the Greek covenants and created a number of their own cults. A whole chain of emperors hurried to declare themselves descendants of the gods and actively propagated the worship of themselves. Curiously, the most intelligent of the rulers, after all, were not in a hurry to declare themselves gods, but were content only with honors (Julius Caesar or Octavian Augustus). And, conversely, the most unpleasant person, not hesitating, declared their divine origin in life - this is Caligula and Commodus. Still, citizens understood that their emperors were not quite real gods, such as Jupiter. Their deification was more ideological and served as an additional connecting thread among vast and heterogeneous territories, a kind of identification marking the territory of the Roman Empire.
One should not think that the apotheosis is an anachronism. And today, on completely legitimate grounds, in many countries, real martyrs are being deified and reckoned as real saints for their saints. In Catholicism and Orthodoxy, this tradition is known as canonization. In modern life, the apotheosis of the leaders is well known to the inhabitants of the former Soviet Union, North Korea, China, 50-60s of the 20th century.
Apotheosis received its display in culture and art. Applied to painting, apotheosis is a depiction of a hero in the hypostasis of God. A vivid example of such a genre can serve as a picture of Vereshchagin's “Apotheosis of War” or Ingre's “Apotheosis of Napoleon”. Interestingly, the first work characterizes the apotheosis in a negative way (as a devastating outcome of the war). No less curious is the fresco in the Rotunda of the Capitol - “Apotheosis of Washington” by Constantino Brumidi in 1865. It was made at the very end of the Civil War and, by today's standards, cost more than half a million dollars. This is a very ambiguous work. On the one hand, George Washington is endowed with attributes of divine power (purple cloak, stargate in the background, a shining rainbow, goddess and nymph).
It symbolizes his triumphant ascension to the divine heights for services to the nation. And, at the same time, some researchers mark the masonic trace in the work - the pentacle formed by the heads of the main figures.
Without neglecting the truth of both concepts, we note that it is advisable to treat any work solely as an object of art that can enthuse the viewer with the perfection of composition, plot and form.
Now you know that apotheosis is a word that can have very different meanings.