Minerva (Athena in Greek) was one of the most important of the ancient Greek & Roman goddesses. She was originally a Goddess of War, hence her armor & spear. Her role later expanded to Goddess of War, Trade, Wisdom & the Arts. (Those duties including Trade & War surely reflect modern economic motives.) She was fierce & brilliant. From 2C BC onwards, the Romans equated her with the Greek goddess Athena, Goddess of Music, Poetry, Medicine, Wisdom, Commerce, Weaving, Crafts, & Magic.
Artists in the 15-18C sometimes painted their clients as allegories or personifications, & often painters would put the faces of their patrons or sponsors on the bodies of the saints. These came to be called donor portraits.
Allegorical portraits remained popular; & as time passed, they expanded to show the sitter as a goddess, or muse, or nymph in a rustic or garden setting. These allegories grew to include strong portraits of Minerva wearing idealized attire, nothing like the clothing worn by actual women of the period. Dressing scantily or provocatively would have been frowned upon if a proper lady was sitting for a realistic portrait, but if she were posing as an ancient goddess or muse, a little skin was acceptable.
INTERNATIONAL WAR NOW - RUSSIA INVADES THE UKRAINE
Russia has 800 miles of border on its West. In the decades following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, one of the nations on its Western border, Ukraine, moved toward closer integration with Europe. When pro-Russian Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych tried to reverse that trend in 2014, protests swept him from power.
Having lost an ally, Vladimir Putin invaded & annexed the Ukrainian autonomous republic of Crimea. He also provoked separatist uprisings in Donetsk & Luhansk, two regions in eastern Ukraine; fighting between pro-Russian militias & the Ukrainian government continued there for years.
Running on a populist reform platform, Volodymyr Zelensky was elected president of Ukraine in 2019 with more than 70 percent of the vote.
In 2021 Putin ordered a buildup of troops along Russia’s border with Ukraine, & on February 22, 2022, after he announced the beginning of a “special military operation,” Russian forces invaded Ukraine.