Sunday, July 18, 2021

17C Summer Myth of Pomona & Vertumnus - Gardens, Orchards, & Finding Love

Vertumnus & Pomona by Frans van Mieris the Younger (1689 - 1763)

Pomona was the beautiful goddess of fruitful abundance in ancient Roman religion & myth. Pomona was said to be a wood nymph. The name Pomona comes from the Latin word pomum, "fruit," specifically orchard fruit. She was said to be  a part of the Numia, the guardian spirits who watch over people, places, or homes. While Pomona watches over & protects fruit trees & cares for their cultivation, she is not actually associated with the harvest of fruit itself, but with tending the flourishing of the fruit trees. In artistic depictions she is generally shown with a platter of fruit or a cornucopia & perhaps her pruning knife
Vertumnus & Pomona in a Garden by Adriaen van de Velde  (1636–1672)

Pomona, the alluring wood nymph, actually cared nothing for the wild woods but cared only for her well-cultivated fruit filled gardens & orchards. And Pomona had a thing about men. She fenced her garden orchards, so the rude young men couldn't trample her plants & vines. She also kept her orchards enclosed, because she wanted to keep away the men who were attracted to her good looks. Even dancing satyrs(a cross between a man & a goat) were attracted to her beauty. Despite the fact that she preferred to be alone to care & nurture her trees, this beauty was continually besieged by suitors, in particular one persistent god named Vertumnus. Vertumnus had the ability to take different human guises & made numerous attempts to woo Pomona, but she turned him away each time.
 Vertumnus & Pomona by Hyacinthe Rigaud (1659-1743)

The god Vertumus caught on to Pomona's aversion to men in her orchards & in her life generally. In Roman mythology, Vertumnus, the young, handsome god of changing seasons & patron of fruits, determined to win over Pomona.  He could change his form at will according to Ovid's Metamorphoses (xiv).  He came to her in various male disguises, which included, a reaper, an apple picker, a fisher, a solider, & more. Even with the disguises, she still never paid him the slightest bit of attention. One day Vertumnus tried a disguise as an old women. And Pomona finally allowed him to enter her garden, where he pretended to be interested in her fruit. But he finally told her he was more exquisite than her crops. After saying that, he kissed her passionately, but it wasn't enough. Vertumnus kept trying to sway her by telling her a story of a young women who rejected a boy who loved her; in despair, the boy killed hung himself, & Venus punished the girl by turning her to stone. This narrative warning of the extreme dangers of rejecting a suitor (the embedded tale of Iphis & Anaxarete) still did not seduce her. It just didn't work, of course. He then realized that it was the feminine disguise didn't work & tore it off.  It wasn't until Vertumnus appeared before her in his full manliness (apparently quite a good looking male specimen), that Pomona finally gave in to his inviting male charms. Vertumnus is a god of gardens & orchards & so it appears they were a match made in heaven. To his surprise, she fell in love with his manly wiles, & they became the ultimate loving couple working & playing in gardens & orchards together from then on.

Pomona by Hendrick Bloemaert (1602-1672)

The tale of Vertumnus & Pomona has been said to be the only purely Latin tale in Ovid's Metamorphoses. The subject of Vertumnus & Pomona appealed to European sculptors & painters of the 16th through the 18th centuries, providing a disguised erotic subtext in a scenario that contrasted youthful female beauty with an aged old woman. But it wasn't the old woman that ultimately won the day. In narrating the tale in the Metamorphoses, Ovid observed that the kind of kisses given by Vertumnus were never given by an old woman.  In Ovid's myth, Pomona scorned the love of the woodland gods Silvanus & Picus, but finally married the brutally handsome Vertumnus. She & Vertumnus were celebrated in  an annual Roman festival on August 13. There is a grove that is dedicated to her called the Pomonal, located not far from Ostia, the ancient port of Rome. Unlike many other Roman goddesses & gods, Pomona does not have a Greek counterpart, though she is often associated with Demeter.
Vertumnus & Pomona by Frans Bartholomeus Douven (1688-1726
Vertumnus & Pomona Caspar Netscher (1639-1684)
Vertumnus & Pomona by Aert de Gelde (1665-1727)
Vertumnus & Pomona by Abraham Bloemaert (1566 - 1651)
Vertumnus & Pomona with her Pruning Knife 1630 by Paulus Moreelse (1571-1638)
Vertumnus & Pomona  Roman god of seasons, and the goddess of fruit and gardens. 1683 David Teniers the Elder.
Vertumnus & Pomona  Juan van der Hamen (1596-1631)
Vertumnus & Pomona by Ferdinand Baltasars Pain (1616 - 1680)
Vertumnus & Pomona by Circle of  Caspar Netscher (c. 1635-1684)
Vertumnus & Pomona by Circle Pieter de Grebber or Pieter Fransz de Grebber (c.1600–1652/3) a Dutch Golden Age painter.

Sunday, June 20, 2021

17C Spring Lover presents a fragrant new Summer Rose to a Woman by Jeremiasz Flack (active 1656 -1677)

Sense of Smell. A Lover presents a fragrant Summer Rose to a Woman by Jeremiasz Falck (active 1656 -1677) engraver

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Friday, June 18, 2021

Thursday, June 17, 2021

19C Spring Idyll by George Henry Boughton (1833–1905)

George Henry Boughton (American artist, 1833–1905) Spring Idyll (Hoping this is the most accurate of the several attributions.)

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Thursday, June 10, 2021

17C Spring Allegory with a Garden by Wenceslaus Hollar 1607-1677

Wenceslaus Hollar (Czech artist, 1607-1677)  Spring

Wenceslaus Hollar was born in 1607, the son of an upper middle-class civic official. He left his native Prague at age 20, and likely studied in Frankfurt under Matthaus Merian. His 1st book of etchings was published in 1635, in Cologne, when Hollar was 28. The following year he came to the attention of the art collector the Earl of Arundel who was making an official visit to the continent, & Hollar subsequently became a part of his household, settling in England early in 1637. He remained in England during the beginning of the English Civil War period; but left London for Antwerp in 1642, where he continued to work on a variety of projects. In 1652, he returned to England, working on a number of large projects for the publisher John Ogilby & Sir William Dugdale. Hollar was in London during the Great Fire of 1666, & remains most famous for his scenes of the city before & after the fire. He a skilled etcher, which is remarkable given that he was almost blind in one eye. Hollar died in London on 25 March 1677. By his life's end, he had produced nearly 3000 separate etchings.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

17C Puttie & Spring in the Garden attr to Jan Breughel II (1601-1678)

Attributed to Jan Breughel II (1601-1678) Formal Spring Garden with a central Fountain & a few Flower Pickers

Monday, June 7, 2021

17C Spring Allegory with Flowers & a Garden by Wenceslaus Hollar 1607-1677

1641 Wenceslaus Hollar (Czech, 1607-1677) Spring

Wenceslaus Hollar was born in 1607, the son of an upper middle-class civic official. Very little is known about his early life, but he evidently learned the rudiments of his craft by age eighteen, left his native Prague at age twenty, and likely studied in Frankfurt under Matthaus Merian. His first book of etchings was published in 1635, in Cologne when Hollar was twenty-eight. The following year he came to the attention of the renowned art collector the Earl of Arundel who was making an official visit to the continent, and Hollar subsequently became a part of his household, settling in England early in 1637. He remained in England during the beginning of the English Civil War period, but left London for Antwerp in 1642, where he continued to work on a variety of projects. In 1652 he returned to England, working on a number of large projects for the publisher John Ogilby and for the antiquary Sir William Dugdale. Hollar was in London during the Great Fire of 1666, and remains most famous for his scenes of the city before and after the fire. He was one of the most skilled etchers of his or any other time, which is all the more remarkable given that he was almost blind in one eye. Hollar died in London on 25 March 1677. By his life's end, he had produced some 2700 separate etchings.

Sunday, June 6, 2021

17C The weather is beginning to warm up. Woman Holding A Fan by Abraham Bosse (French, c 1602-04–1676)

Woman Holding A Fan by Abraham Bosse (French, c 1602/1604–1676)  Bosse was a French illustrator, mainly as a printmaker in etching. He was born to Huguenot (Calvinist) parents in Tours, France, where his father had moved from Germany. His father was a tailor, & Bosse's work always depicted clothes in loving detail. Roughly 1600 etchings are attributed to him, with subjects including: daily life, religion, literature, fashion, technology, & science. Most of his output was illustrations for books, but many were also sold separately. His style grows from Dutch & Flemish art, but is given a strongly French flavor. Many of his images give informative detail about middle & upper-class daily life in the period, although they must be treated with care as historical evidence. 

Saturday, June 5, 2021

17C Spring Woman by Jean Leblond 1605-1666

Jean Leblond 1605-1666 La Bavolette; Jean Leblond I (Published by); François Ragot (Print made by); Young woman holding flowers in left hand.

Friday, June 4, 2021

18C Personification of Spring from Carrington Bowles 1766

1766 Spring Published by Carington Bowles After Robert Pyle done by James Watson London

Here Spring is a stylish young woman standing on garden terrace, adding a rose to flowers in her apron. Her elbow rests on the garden plinth of an urn covered in a trailing plant. A basket of flowers sits on the plinth.

Thursday, June 3, 2021

18C Personification of Spring

1750 Spring Published by Robert Sayer London

Here Spring is once again depicted as a fashionably-dressed young woman with flowers in her hair, picking a rose from a bush on the right, holding others in her apron, She is resting her elbow on a parapet overlooking a garden. In the background, a man is leaning against a garden balustrade and a couple stand in front of a domed garden temple.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

5C–6C CE Egypt - Myth - Female Goddess - Symbol of Spring

Bust of Spring ca. 5C–6C CE Egypt - Tapestry weave of dyed wools. The Metropolitan Museum of Art

This small tapestry panel comes from Egypt. That area had a major weaving (especially linen) industry throughout the ancient and medieval period, which brought the country a great deal of its trade and wealth. Unlike the textiles of other cultures, many of these pieces have been preserved by Egypt's hot, dry climate, which prevents rotting. Personifications of the seasons were thought to represent prosperity.

Historically in many cultures, a female personification or a Spring goddess celebrated the hope of new growth as the decay of winter gave way to Nature's renewal and rebirth.  Spring begins with the first green shoots and explodes into a multitude of beautiful blossoms and promise of good harvest. In ancient times, communities often held festivals to celebrate Spring goddesses who were associated with flowering, growth and fertility of the land.

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

17C Spring by Wenceslaus Hollar (Czech artist, 1607-1677) Spring

Wenceslaus Hollar (Czech artist, 1607-1677)  Spring. "Welcom sweet Lady you doe bring / Rich presents of a hopefull Spring / That makes the Earth to looke so greene / As when she first began to teeme"

Allegorical characters, such as "Spring" above, in stories & in art are often located in garden settings, frequently in or near walled gardens such as the one depicted here. The locus amoenus was one of the traditional locations of epic & chivalric literature. As a literary genre of high culture, romance or chivalric romance is a type of prose & verse narrative that was popular in the aristocratic circles of Medieval & Early Modern Europe. 

The artist Wenceslaus Hollar was born in 1607, the son of an upper middle-class civic official. Very little is known about his early life, but he evidently learned the rudiments of his craft by age eighteen, left his native Prague at age twenty, and likely studied in Frankfurt under Matthaus Merian. His first book of etchings was published in 1635, in Cologne when Hollar was twenty-eight. The following year he came to the attention of the renowned art collector the Earl of Arundel who was making an official visit to the continent, and Hollar subsequently became a part of his household, settling in England early in 1637. He remained in England during the beginning of the English Civil War period, but left London for Antwerp in 1642, where he continued to work on a variety of projects. In 1652 he returned to England, working on a number of large projects for the publisher John Ogilby and for the antiquary Sir William Dugdale. Hollar was in London during the Great Fire of 1666, and remains most famous for his scenes of the city before and after the fire. He was one of the most skilled etchers of his or any other time, which is all the more remarkable given that he was almost blind in one eye. Hollar died in London on 25 March 1677. By his life's end, he had produced some 2700 separate etchings.

Monday, May 31, 2021

17C Spring to Summer - Locus amoenus, Allegories by Jan Brueghel the Elder 1568-1625 & Hendrick van Balen 1575-1632

Jan Brueghel the Elder 1568-1625 & Hendrick van Balen 1575-1632 Spring, 1616

As in these paintings, allegorical characters in stories & in art of this period were often located in garden settings. The locus amoenus was one of the traditional locations of epic & chivalric literature. As a literary genre of high culture, romance or chivalric romance is a type of prose & verse narrative that was popular in the aristocratic circles of Medieval & Early Modern Europe. Holding on to The Sweet Divine - The Lord God took man & put him in the Garden of Eden to work it & to keep it.

Locus amoenus (Latin for "pleasant place") is a literary term which generally referring to an idealized place of safety or comfort, usually a beautiful, shady parkland or open woods, sometimes with connotations of Eden. A locus amoenus usually has 3 basic elements: trees, grass, & water.

Often, the locus amoenus garden will be in a remote setting & with only components or suggestions of a more formal, geometric, walled garden, such as the flower pots seen above. The locus amoenus can also be used to highlight the differences between urban & rural life or be a place of refuge from the processes of time & mortality. In some works, such gardens also have overtones of the regenerative powers of human sexuality marked out by flowers, & goddesses of springtime, love, & fertility. Ernst Robert Curtius formulated the concept's definition in his European Literature & the Latin Middle Ages (1953).
Jan Brueghel the Elder 1568-1625 & Hendrick van Balen 1575-1632 Summer, 1616

Such collaboration between artists was common in Antwerp during the 1600s, as artists often specialized in either landscape or figure painting. Flemish artists of the time repeatedly painted representations of the 4 elements, suggesting that it was a popular subject with buyers. Brueghel the Younger depicted the senses, the elements, or the seasons as allegories many times throughout his career. 

Sunday, May 30, 2021

18C Myth - Goddess Flora - Symbol of Spring by Rosalba Carriera (1675-1757)

Rosalba Carriera (Italian artist, 1675-1757) Flora. Venetian portrait painter & miniaturist, one originator of the popular Rococo style in France & Italy. Carriera initially became known for her miniature portraits on snuffboxes. She used ivory rather than vellum as a ground for miniatures. By the time Carriera was 25, her miniatures had won her special membership in the Academy of St. Luke in Rome. She went to Paris in  March 1720, accompanied by her family, & became the idol of the French capital; where she received commissions for 36 portraits, among them one of Louis XV as a child. She became a member of the French Royal Academy in 1720 & the next year returned to Venice & her home on the Grand Canal. In 1730 she agai left Venice, to work for 6 months in Vienna, where Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI became her patron & the empress became her pupil. Sadly, after 1750 Carriera’s sight failed.

In Roman mythology, Flora (Latin: Flōra) is a Sabine-derived goddess of flowers - a symbol for nature and flowers (especially the may-flower). While she was otherwise a relatively minor figure in Roman mythology, being one among several fertility goddesses, her association with the spring gave her particular importance at the coming of springtime, as did her role as goddess of youth. She was one of the fifteen deities who had their own flamen, the Floralis, one of the flamines minores. Her Greek counterpart is Chloris.
Rosalba Carriera (Italian artist, 1675-1757) Flora

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...Genesis 2:15 . 

Saturday, May 29, 2021

16C Spring Landscape by Sebastian Vrancx (1573-1647)

 

Sebastian Vrancx (Flemish artist, 1573-1647) Spring. Vrancx is best known for his depictions of battle scenes & he was probably the first artist in the northern or southern Netherlands to attempt this subject-matter. He was the son of Jan Vrancx & Barbara Coutereau. Vrancx’s subjects also encompass allegorical scenes, such as the Months & the Seasons, & religious & mythological subjects, which he presented as genre scenes with the emphasis on narrative detail. 

Friday, May 28, 2021

16C Spring Landscape by Lucas Van Valkenborch (c 1530-1597)

1587 Lucas Van Valkenborch (Flemish painter, c 1530-1597) Landscape in Spring

1587 Lucas Van Valkenborch (Flemish painter, c 1530-1597) Landscape in Spring Detail.Lucas van Valckenborch or Lucas van Valckenborch the Elder (c. 1535-1597) was a Flemish painter, mainly known for his landscapes. He also made contributions to portrait painting & allegorical scenes. Court painter to Archduke Matthias, the governor of the Spanish Netherlands in Brussels, he later migrated to Austria & then Germany where he joined members of his extended family of artists who had moved there for religious reasons.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

18C Spring - Love & Bird Nests

 1796 Spring Published by George Thompson London

 This depiction of Spring shows a family on a river bank.  The man is holding a fishing rod and displaying a fish caught on the line, while the woman opens a wicker basket full of others. The little girl stands holding a basket of flowers, while the little boy kneels in the foreground, feeding birds in a nest in his hat. Behind them a team is ploughing to enable them to plant new seeds (in the background to right.) 

 Bird nests are symbols of home; they represent the love, commitment, & effort it takes to build a happy home for a family. Bird nests are also good-luck symbols. Legend has it that prosperity will come to any home that finds a bird's nest nestled among the branches of the family Christmas tree. This legend can be traced back to Iceland, Sweden, & Germany. The many varied versions of the legend include in that prosperity: health, happiness, friendship, & good luck. Nests are not where birds sleep (roost) - they are for keeping eggs & baby chicks in place while nurturing them. They are a protected home for new life, a safe-harbor for the continuation of the species. 

“If you happen upon a bird’s nest along the road with young ones or eggs, whether in a tree or on the ground, and the mother is sitting on the young ones or the eggs, you must not take the mother together with her young...Do this so that it may go well with you and you may live long. Deuteronomy 22:6-7 

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

18C Spring - Love & Bird Nests

18C English Woodcut of Spring. Another bird's nest is gently placed in the woman's apron. Bird nests are symbols of home; they represent the love, commitment, & effort it takes to build a happy home for a family. Bird nests are also good-luck symbols. Legend has it that prosperity will come to any home that finds a bird's nest nestled among the branches of the family Christmas tree. This legend can be traced back to Iceland, Sweden, & Germany. The many varied versions of the legend include in that prosperity: health, happiness, friendship, & good luck. Nests are not where birds sleep (roost) - they are for keeping eggs & baby chicks in place while nurturing them. They are a protected home for new life, a safe-harbor for the continuation of the species.  

“If you happen upon a bird’s nest along the road with young ones or eggs, whether in a tree or on the ground, and the mother is sitting on the young ones or the eggs, you must not take the mother together with her young...Do this so that it may go well with you and you may live long. Deuteronomy 22:6-7 

18C Spring - Love & Bird Nests

1785 Probably published in Britain. Here a young man is handing a birds' nest to a young woman. He has one hand on her shoulder as she accepts the nest.  She is collecting spring flowers in her apron. The couple is passing by another woman kneeling beside a basket of flowers and holding up a garland for the couple to see. Men are sowing the seeds for grain in fields in the background to left.

Bird nests are symbols of home; they represent the love, commitment, & effort it takes to build a happy home for a family. Bird nests are also good-luck symbols. Legend has it that prosperity will come to any home that finds a bird's nest nestled among the branches of the family Christmas tree. This legend can be traced back to Iceland, Sweden, & Germany. The many varied versions of the legend include in that prosperity: health, happiness, friendship, & good luck. Nests are not where birds sleep (roost) - they are for keeping eggs & baby chicks in place while nurturing them. They are a protected home for new life, a safe-harbor for the continuation of the species.  

“If you happen upon a bird’s nest along the road with young ones or eggs, whether in a tree or on the ground, and the mother is sitting on the young ones or the eggs, you must not take the mother together with her young...Do this so that it may go well with you and you may live long. Deuteronomy 22:6-7 

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

18C Spring - Love & Bird Nests

1779 Spring Published by Carington Bowles after John Collet London. John Collet (b. London; d. London 1780) was a painter of genre everyday subjects. He studied St. Martin's Lane Academy & was pupil of Lambert; exhibited 1761-80 & posthumously 1783; popularized by engravings by John Goldar. In the late 1760s, a number of Collet's designs were engraved by Goldar & others for Thomas Bradford of Fleet Street; from 1768-73, prints after his work were jointly published by Robert Sayer & John Smith, & from 1774-76 by Sayer & Bennett; from 1777-81, mezzotints after his designs published by Carington Bowles.

In this allegory of Spring, a man holds the hands of a bashful young woman. He points to two doves billing beside him, while a boy on the right plays with a bird's nest, and an old woman looking on from behind a tree & a fence seems upset. 

Bird nests are symbols of home; they represent the love, commitment, & effort it takes to build a happy home for a family. Bird nests are also good-luck symbols. Legend has it that prosperity will come to any home that finds a bird's nest nestled among the branches of the family Christmas tree. This legend can be traced back to Iceland, Sweden, & Germany. The many varied versions of the legend include in that prosperity: health, happiness, friendship, & good luck. Nests are not where birds sleep (roost) - they are for keeping eggs & baby chicks in place while nurturing them. They are a protected home for new life, a safe-harbor for the continuation of the species. 

“If you happen upon a bird’s nest along the road with young ones or eggs, whether in a tree or on the ground, and the mother is sitting on the young ones or the eggs, you must not take the mother together with her young...Do this so that it may go well with you and you may live long. Deuteronomy 22:6-7