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. 

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 

Monday, May 24, 2021

1636 Spring & Cherubs by Jan Brueghel the Younger 1601-1678 & Frans Francken the Younger 1581-1642

1636 Jan Brueghel the Younger (Flemish, 1601-1678) Frans Francken the Younger (Flemish, 1581-1642) A remote Landscape Setting with Allegories of the Four Elements

Here 4 seated women representing water, air, earth, & fire are surrounded by a lush landscape. The fish flowing from the water jug & the cornucopia of abundance cradled in the arms of the figure on the right correspond to the tactile elements of water & earth. The birds in the sky & trees & the accoutrements of battle in the foreground correspond to the intangible elements of fire & air. The figures, the still life objects, & the landscape work together as a unified scene, yet two different artists worked to create this painting. Frequent collaborators, the skilled figure painter Frans Francken II painted the women & background figures, & Jan Brueghel the Younger described the landscape.
Jan Brueghel the Younger (Flemish, 1601-1678) Frans Francken the Younger (Flemish, 1581-1642) A remote Landscape Setting with an Allegory of Water and Earth

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, either together or individually. 
1630s. A remote Landscape Setting with Ceres (Allegory of Earth). Landscape by Jan Brueghel the Younger figures after Hendrick van Balen.

Here, earth is represented by the goddess Ceres, who is surrounded with a satyr, putti, & a figure holding a sheaf of wheat. Ceres, whose name means "creator," was the goddess of agriculture, worshiped over a large part of ancient Italy.

Those winged toddlers over Ceres' head in the painting clutching her crown, are they religious cherubs or secular putti?  A putto (pl. putti) is a figure of a human toddler, usually male, often naked with wings, depicted especially in Italian Renaissance & Baroque art. The Latin word "putus" means boy or child. During the early modern period, artist Donatello revived & popularized putti figures in Florence during the 1420s.
Neroccio De' Landi (1447-1500) Two Putti, 1490-1510

In the European culture of the 1400s & 1500s, Cherubs & Putti had distinctly different roles. Biblically, Cherubs & Seraphs (Cherubim & Seraphim) were sacred angels in heaven closest to God. Putti, arose from Greco-Roman classical myths, not the Christian tradition, and were associated with Eros or Cupid as well as with the Muse Erato of lyric & love poetry.
Raphael Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (1483–1520), Sistine Cherubs

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.  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. These paintings employ this setting.  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).

About these confusing Breughels - 

Pieter Bruegel (also Brueghel) 1525-1569 was a Netherlandish Renaissance painter & printmaker known for his landscapes & peasant scenes (later called genre painting). From 1559, he dropped the 'h' from his name & signed his paintings as Bruegel.  

Pieter the Elder had 2 sons: Pieter Brueghel the Younger 1564 -1636 & Jan Brueghel the Elder 1568-1625 (both changed their name to Brueghel). Their grandmother, Mayken Verhulst, trained the sons because "the Elder" died when both were very small children. The older brother, Pieter Brueghel, copied his father's style but without the same great talent. Jan was more successful, as he turned to the Baroque style & collaborated with many fine artists.

Pieter Brueghel the Younger or Pieter Bruegel the Younger (before 1616 he signed his name as 'Brueghel' & after 1616 as 'Breughel') 1564 -1636 was a Flemish painter, known for numerous copies after his father Pieter Bruegel the Elder's work as well as his original compositions. The large output of his studio, which produced for the local & export market, contributed to the international spread of his father's imagery.

Jan Brueghel the Elder 1568-1625 was a Flemish painter, son of Pieter Bruegel the Elder & father of Jan Brueghel the Younger 1601-1678. Many of his paintings are collaborations in which figures by other painters were placed in landscapes painted by Jan Brueghel; in other works, Brueghel painted the figures into another artist's landscape or architectural interior. The most famous of his collaborators was Peter Paul Rubens who collaborated on about 25 paintings.

Jan Brueghel the Younger 1601-1678 was a Flemish Baroque painter. Jan the Younger's best works are his extensive landscapes, either under his own name or made for other artists such as Hendrick van Balen as backgrounds.  He collaborated with a number of prominent artists including Rubens, Hendrick van Balen (1575–1632), Adriaen Stalbemt (1580–1682), Lucas Van Uden (1596–1672), David Teniers the Younger, and his father-in-law Abraham Janssens. His pupils were his older sons Abraham , 1631-1690, Philips, & Jan Peeter 1628-1664, his nephew Jan van Kessel, & his younger brother Ambrosius. 

Sunday, May 23, 2021

17C Myth - Goddess Flora - Symbol of Spring by William Faithorne c 1656-1701

 

Goddess Flora - Symbol of Spring by William Faithorne c 1656-1701. William Faithorne the Younger (1656–c.1701) was an English mezzotint engraver. He was born in London, the eldest son of William Faithorne the Elder. The prints reach into the reign Queen Anne; moreover his earlier pieces are inscribed "W. Faithorne, junior". The exact year of his death is unknown; it is said, he was buried in St. Martin's Churchyard, from the house of "Mr. Will. Copper in Half Moon Street, Covent Garden."

Saturday, May 22, 2021

16C Spring by Lucas van Valckenborch (1535-1597)

 

Lucas van Valckenborch (1535-1597) Spring, 1595  Lucas van Valckenborch or Lucas van Valckenborch the Elder (Leuven, c. 1535 – Frankfurt am Main, 2 February 1597) was a Flemish painter, mainly known for his landscapes, portrait, market & allegorical scenes. Court painter to Archduke Matthias, the governor of the Spanish Netherlands in Brussels, he later migrated to Austria and then Germany where he joined members of his extended family of artists who had moved there for religious reasons.

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Myth - Goddess Flora - Symbol of Spring

Detail of Flora from Primavera by Botticelli, c. 1482

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.

Justus Sustermans (Flemish painter, 1597-1681) Vittoria della Rovere, Grand Duchess of Tuscany as the Goddess Flora

1620 Cornelis van Poelenburgh, (1594-1667) Woman Portrayed as Flora

1630s Claude Vignon (1593-1670)  - Goddess Flora

Paulus Moreelse (1571-1638) - Portrait of a Young Woman as Flora 1633 

Juan van der Hamen y (Gómez de) León (1596-1631) - Offering for Flora, 1627

Rosalba Carriera (Italian artist, 1675-1757) Flora

Pierre Gobert (1662-1744)  - Retrato de Noiva com Flore

Rosalba Carriera (Italian artist, 1675-1757) Flora

1685-90 Lady as Flora, by Jan van Haesbergen

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

Angelica Kauffman (French artist, 1741-1807) Flora

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

Nicolas de Largillierre (French, 1656 - 1746) - Marie Louise Élisabeth d'Orléans as Goddess Flora.

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

Nicolas de Largillierre (French, 1656 - 1746) - Marie Therese Bloneldharau as Goddess Flora

Nicolas de Largillierre (French, 1656 - 1746) - Portrait Of Françoise D'Escravayat, Marquise De La Barrière, As Goddess Flora

Nicolas de Largillierre (French, 1656 - 1746) - Porträt der Marquise de Gueydan als Goddess Flora

Gustave Jean Jacquet (French artist, 1846-1909) Flora

19C Spring Allegory by Alexandre Bluhm (fl. mid-19C)

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

17C Myth - Goddess Flora - Symbol of Spring by Luca Giordano & Andrea Belvedere

Luca Giordano & Andrea Belvedere, Flora, Goddess of Flowers, Ca. 1697. This is a collaborative work between 2 Neapolitan artists, Luca Giordano (Naples, Italy, 1634 - Naples, Italy), 1705 -a painter very popular with the Spanish court under Charles II- & Andrea Belvedere (Naples, 1652 - Naples, 1732.) Belvedere is now believed to be responsible for the flowers, the minute & precise brushstrokes of which are completely unlike Giordano´s signature style, ruling out his role in their execution. 

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston tells us that "In ancient mythology, there was a god & goddess for everything; anything from the generic deity above all others to love to home life...One mythology painting is from the collection of the Museo Nacional del Prado in Spain. The Goddess Flora (La Diosa Flora), Luca Giordano & Andrea Belvedere, c. 1697... 

"Luca Giordano was considered a very popular Spanish painter within the Spanish court under Charles II. While, Andrea Belvedere, who lived in Spain from c. 1694 to c. 1700 was believed to be called from his home in Naples, Italy, by Giordano himself, to paint for the Spanish court. The work is supposedly one of several collaborations between Giordano (who painted the goddess Flora & the seated women) & Belvedere (who executed all the intricate flowers)...


"The Goddess Flora...depicts the goddess sitting on a raised throne surrounded by 4 women, with whom she shares various, colorful flowers. These are taken from a massive, overflowing cornucopia in her left arm...


"All 5 women are dressed mostly in “classical”clothing, but have touches of contemporary pieces...The maiden to Flora’s right wears a simple string of pearls around her neck; & another maiden has a pair of pearl, teardrop-shaped earrings on. Compared to the muted tones of the clothing of the 5 women, the flowers are vibrantly painted & dominate the color scheme of the whole piece...The flowers easily show us the contrasts in the styles of Giordano & Belvedere.


"The 4 women, whose dresses are of completely different colors, together as a group may, in theory, represent the “Four Seasons”. The woman on the right of Flora wears a garland of flowers in her hair & another woman, to Flora’s left, gathers a rather large bundle of flowers. They easily could represent Spring & Summer. Yet another woman is in a rust-colored dress...would be Autumn. Finally, the last woman with no flowers could be Winter.


"Paintings like this were a favorite subject of art commissioned for royalty all over the world, as a passion for the story; as much as, the use of that myth to elevate themselves as divinely-appointed rulers..."


Posted 13th February 2013 by Christopher M. Hammel
The "Unofficial" Blog of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Monday, May 10, 2021

17C Myth - Goddess Flora - Symbol of Spring by John Payne (printmaker, fl 1620 - 1642)

John Payne (British printmaker, fl 1620 - 1642) Flora with flowers fruits, beasts, & birds.

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.

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.   

Friday, May 7, 2021

6BC to 17C Myth - Goddess Flora - Symbol of Spring by Jean Leblond 1605-1666

Flora holding a wreath of spring flowers by Jean Leblond 1605-1666 

The Floralia was a public festival to honor the goodwill of the goddess 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 held bouquets of flowers & often wore wreaths of flowers around their necks or in their hair.

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.  

Thursday, May 6, 2021

6BC to17C Myth - Goddess Flora - Symbol of Spring with 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.

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.  

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

240BCE to 17C Myth - 3 Goddesses Flora - Symbol of Spring by Rembrandt (1606-1669)

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606-1669) - Portrait of Hendrickje Stofells as Goddess Flora

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606-1669) - Portrait of Saskia as Goddess Flora

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606-1669) - Portrait of Saskia as Goddess Flora

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.  

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

17C Myth - Goddess Flora - Symbol of Spring 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.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

17C Myth - Goddess Flora - Symbol of Spring by Jean-Baptiste de Saive II (1597-c 1642)

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 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.