Monday, May 3, 2021

18C Myth - 3 Goddesses Flora - Symbol of Spring by Jean-Marc Nattier 1685-1766

Jean-Marc Nattier (1685-1766) -  Portrait of a Woman as Flora

  Jean-Marc Nattier (1685-1766) - Henriette of France as Flora

Jean-Marc Nattier (1685-1766) - Louise Anne de Bourbon Comtesse de Charolais 1731

In Rome, her festival, the Floralia, was held between April 28 and May 3 and symbolized the renewal of the cycle of life, drinking, and flowers. The festival was first instituted in 240 B.C.E, and on the advice of the Sibylline books, she was also given a temple in 238 B.C.E. 

At the festival, with the men decked in flowers, and the women wearing normally forbidden gay costumes, five days of farces and mimes were enacted – ithyphallic, and including nudity when called for – followed by a sixth day of the hunting of goats and hares. On May 23 another (rose) festival was held in her honor.  

Flora's Greek equivalent is Chloris, who was a nymph. Flora is married to Favonius, the wind god also known as Zephyr, and her companion was Hercules.  Flora achieved more prominence in the neo-pagan revival of Antiquity among Renaissance humanists than she had enjoyed in ancient Rome.

See:
 Ovid, Fasti, Book 4; T.P. Wiseman, The Myths of Rome (University of Exeter Press, 2004).
 Robert Turcan, The Gods of Ancient Rome (Routledge, 2001; originally published in French 1998)
 H.H. Scullard, Festivals and Ceremonies of the Roman Republic (Cornell University Press, 1981)
 William Warde Fowler, The Roman Festivals of the Period of the Republic (London, 1908)

Spring & Summer are the perfect time to celebrate the rebirth of 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...Genesis 2:15.