Monday, July 22, 2019

Celebrating The Earth's Beauty - Flora and Zephyr by Jan Brueghel the Elder & Peter Paul Rubens, 1617

Flora and Zephyr, by Jan Brueghel the Elder and Peter Paul Rubens, 1617

The Floralia was a public festival to honor the goodwill of Flora. Created in the 6th century BC by the Romans, it took place in spring  & lasted 6 days, the last 3 days of April  & the first 3 days of May. The festival consisted of games  & theatrical performances. Chariot races  & circus games took place  & everywhere were the symbols of Flora. It was traditional to have goats & hares scampering about the landscape where flowers of lupines, beans, & vetch were scattered about. The Romans walked around holding bouquets of flowers or wore wreaths of flowers around their neck or in their hair.

Spring & Summer are the perfect time to celebrate Earth's Beauty & Bounty.  Flowers gave beauty & inspiration to mankind's basic struggle to live & to populate & to protect his home-base, The Earth.  Holding on to The Sweet Divine - The Lord God took man & put him in the Garden of Eden to work it & to keep it...You shall not pollute the land in which you live...You shall not defile the land in which you live, in the midst of which I dwell, for I the Lord dwell in the midst of the people. Genesis 2:15 & Numbers 35:33-34. 

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Celebrating The Earth's Beauty - 1482 Goddess Flora, Goddess of Flowers

Detail of Flora from Primavera by Botticelli, c. 1482

From Roman times through to the Renaissance, Flora became equally known for her ties to the natural world as for her ties to prostitution & lewd self display. In paintings she would be portrayed either as the goddess of spring surrounded by plants  & flowers with the emphasis on nature & abundance, or in contrast, as a seductive woman.

Spring & Summer are the perfect time to celebrate Earth's Beauty & Bounty.  Flowers gave beauty & inspiration to mankind's basic struggle to live & to populate & to protect his home-base, The Earth.  Holding on to The Sweet Divine - The Lord God took man & put him in the Garden of Eden to work it & to keep it...You shall not pollute the land in which you live...You shall not defile the land in which you live, in the midst of which I dwell, for I the Lord dwell in the midst of the people. Genesis 2:15 & Numbers 35:33-34. 

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Celebrating The Earth's Beauty - 16C Goddess Flora by Bartolomeo Veneto

Idealized Portrait of a Courtesan as Flora by Bartolomeo Veneto, c. 1520.j

Flora is the Roman goddess of flowers but at one time also over fruit trees, vines, & grains. Her name comes from the Latin floris, meaning flower. It is known that Flora was honored by the Sabines an old Italic tribe of the Appennines, before the founding of Rome. The Italic people celebrated her as a fertility goddess. A statue of Flora existed in Greece where she was worshiped ( & known as Chloris), prior to the time of Roman worship.

Many Roman tales portray Flora was a woman of pleasure, wealthy due to her popular occupation, who left her wealth to the Roman senate on the proviso that the money was used to celebrate her birthday. TheRoman politicians senators agreed to this donation, gave Flora the title of goddess,  & thereafter held the Floralia on her birthday.

The Floralia was a public festival to honor the goodwill of Flora. Created in the 6th century BC by the Romans, it took place in spring  & lasted 6 days, the last 3 days of April  & the first 3 days of May. The festival consisted of games  & theatrical performances. Chariot races  & circus games took place  & everywhere were the symbols of Flora. It was traditional to have goats & hares scampering about the landscape where flowers of lupines, beans,  & vetch were scattered about. The Romans walked around holding bouquets of flowers or wore wreaths of flowers around their neck or in their hair. The theatrical performances were known to be 'lewd' or 'bawdy'  & repotedly contemporary prostitutes (who were devoted to Flora) might remove their clothing when called upon.

Spring & Summer are the perfect time to celebrate Earth's Beauty & Bounty.  Flowers gave beauty & inspiration to mankind's basic struggle to live & to populate & to protect his home-base, The Earth.  Holding on to The Sweet Divine - The Lord God took man & put him in the Garden of Eden to work it & to keep it...You shall not pollute the land in which you live...You shall not defile the land in which you live, in the midst of which I dwell, for I the Lord dwell in the midst of the people. Genesis 2:15 & Numbers 35:33-34. 

Friday, July 19, 2019

Celebrating The Earth's Beauty - Two 17C Symbols of Flora & Flowers

Jean-Baptiste de Saive II (Flemish artist, 1597-c 1642) An Allegory of Spring at a Market Scene with a Boy offering Strawberries to Girl surrounded by Flowers

Spring & Summer are the perfect time to celebrate Earth's Beauty & Bounty.  Flowers gave beauty & inspiration to mankind's basic struggle to live & to populate & to protect his home-base, The Earth.  Holding on to The Sweet Divine - The Lord God took man & put him in the Garden of Eden to work it & to keep it...You shall not pollute the land in which you live...You shall not defile the land in which you live, in the midst of which I dwell, for I the Lord dwell in the midst of the people. Genesis 2:15 & Numbers 35:33-34. 

Lucas van Valckenborch (1535-1597) Spring, 1595

Celebrating The Earth's Beauty - 17C Flora by Jan Brueghel II (1601-1678) & Abraham Govaerts (1581-1642)

Jan Brueghel II, (1601-1678) and Abraham Govaerts (1581-1642) Flora Seated in a Wooded Landscape Surrounded by Flowers

Here, Flora, the ancient Italian goddess of flowers, is draped in luxurious cream & scarlet robes & contrasting with the blue landscape behind her. Set in a secluded wooded clearing filled with an astonishing variety of wild flowers, the classical subject matter blends with Flemish realism in the 2 rustic huts depicted on the hill at the right.

Flora is framed by flowers. At her left side, rests a myriad of luscious pink roses, narcissi, buttercups, violas, primroses & poppies; while on her other side, tulips & bluebells mingle together. Nestled in the lush grass next to a wicker basket overflowing with blooms are 2 small rabbits. Throughout the ages the rabbit has been a symbol of fertility & lust. Perhaps these rabbits allude to the licentious nature of Flora’s ancient Roman festival, the Floralia which was held in April & included theatrical entertainment featuring naked women.

Both Ovid & Lucretius describe the goddess Flora in their works. Lucretius, in his explanation of the origins of nature, De Rerum Natura, describes how Flora followed in the footsteps of Zephyr (the east wind) strewing his way with blossoms.1  Ovid, from whom Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510) later drew inspiration for his Primavera (Uffizi Gallery, Florence), tells of Flora fleeing from Zephyr: "When he at length embraced her, flowers spilled from her lips; & she was transformed into Flora."2

Abraham Govaerts’ paintings typically incorporate mythological or biblical subjects within a mannerist landscape. Figures, in this case flowers, were often added by other artists.  Brueghel II & Govaerts frequently collaborated on works, particularly those with mythological subject matter. Govaerts arranged the landscape, & Jan Brueghel II painted the flowers. The tradition of lush flower painting was established by Brueghel II’s father, Jan Brueghel I (1568-1625).

¹ Lucretius, De Rerum Natura V.736-739.
² Ovid, Fasti V.193-214.
See original article plus more information here.