Tuesday, July 2, 2019

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

Pomona Portrait of a lady as Goddess by Jean Ranc (French, 1674 - 1735) 

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

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.

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.

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 ultimatrly 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.

Monday, July 1, 2019

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

Pomona, by Nicolas Fouché, c. 1700

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

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.

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.

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 ultimatrly 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.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Time for Sitting Outdoors with Flowers & Dogs

William Marshall (British printmaker, 1617-1649) Woman with Flower Basket & Intrigued Dog

Friday, June 14, 2019

Sunday, June 2, 2019

18C Allegory of Spring - Love & Bird Nests

1800 Spring by P Stampa published in London

This couple is in a garden with flowers in bloom & a cold frame on the right side. The man is picking a rose to add to the bunch he holds, while looking back at the woman, who carries a parasol. A boy shows passes a birds' nest to a little girl who holds out her apron.  In the background are men in a hay-field.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Myth - Diana Goddess of the Hunt portrayed bt 17C & 18C Women

1765 Carle or Charles-André van Loo (French painter, 1705-1765) Luise Henriette Wilhelmine von Anhalt-Dessau as Diana.  She has a dog, an animal-skin wrap, a bow & quiver, & a crescent moon in her hair.

Early European portrait artists sometimes painted their contemporaries as allegories.  Allegorical portraits remained popular for several centuries, as they expanded to show the female sitter as a Biblical figure, a Greek or Roman goddess, or nymph or muse in in a rustic setting.  Diana is a Roman goddess of the hunt, the moon, & nature, associated with wild animals & woodland.  Diana was known as the virgin goddess of childbirth & women. Diana was originally considered to be a goddess of the wilderness & of the hunt, a central sport in both Roman & Greek culture. 
1751 Pompeo Girolamo Batoni (Italian artist, 1708-1787) Sarah Lethieullier as Lady Fetherstonhaugh, as Diana.  She has a crescent moon in her hair, a bow & a dog.

Early Roman inscriptions to Diana celebrated her primarily as a patron of hunters. Diana was often considered to be a goddess associated with fertility & childbirth, & the protection of women during labor.  Her care of infants also extended to the training of both young people & dogs, especially for hunting. Unlike the Greek gods, Roman gods were originally considered to be divine powers of presence that did not necessarily have physical form. The idea of gods having anthropomorphic qualities & human-like personalities & actions developed later, under the influence of Greek & Etruscan religion.  Diana was not only regarded as a goddess of the wilderness & the hunt, but was often worshiped as a patroness of families.
1765 Francis Cotes (English Painter, 1726-1770) The Honourable Lady Stanhope and the Countess of Effingham as Diana, and Her Companion.  Diana has a hunting spear & a crescent moon in her hair.
"... people regard Diana & the moon as one & the same. ...her name Diana derives from the fact that she turns darkness into daylight. She is invoked at childbirth because children are born occasionally after seven, or usually after nine, lunar revolutions ..." -- Quintus Lucilius Balbus as recorded by Marcus Tullius Cicero & translated by P.G. Walsh. De Natura Deorum (On the Nature of the Gods), Book II, Part ii, Section c.

1700s Unknown French artist, Portrait of a Lady as Diana, Goddess of the Hunt.  She wears a crescent moon in her hair and has an animal-skin wrap, a dog, a quiver & a bow.

1773 after François-Hubert Drouais (French artist, 1727-1775) Marie-Joséphine-Louise de Savoie (1753–1810), comtesse de Provence, as Diana with her faithful hunting dogs, Syrius & Phocion.   She has a bow, & an animal-skin wrap.

1700-10 Nicolas de Largillière (French artist, 1656-1746)  Portrait of Lady as Diana with her faithful hunting dogs, Syrius & Phocion. She has a bow & quiver nearby.

1771 Robert Hunter (Irish artist, fl. 1748–1780) Lady Margaret Butler Lowry-Corry (1748–1775), as Diana.  She has a dog & carries a hunting spear.

1688 Francois de Troy Lady Mary Herbert (1659–1744-1745), Viscountess Montagu, Previously the Honourable Lady Richard Molyneux, and Later Lady Maxwell, as Diana. She has a crescent moon in her hair, a dog, & an animal-skin component to her costume.

1680s Jacob Huysmans (Flemish artist, c 1633–1696)  Elizabeth Cornwallis (d.1708), Mrs Edward Allen, as Diana the Huntress with her faithful hunting dogs, Syrius & Phocion. . She has a hunting spear, & an animal skin decoration, & feathers in her hair.

1670s-90s Giovanni Battista Gaulli (Baciccio) (Italian artist, 1639-1709) Diana the Huntress with her hunting dogs, Syrius & Phocion.  Her bow & quiver lay on the ground.

1674 Jacob Huysmans (Flemish artist, c 1633–1696) Portrait of a Lady as Diana.  She has dogs, a bow & quiver, a hunting spear, & feathers in her hair.

Style of Peter Lely Peter Lely (English artist, 1618-1680) Ann Fanshawe (b.1654), Daughter of Sir Richard Fanshawe as Diana with a dog or a deer.

1670s Copy of  Peter Lely (English artist, 1618-1680) Mary II (1662–1694), when Princess Mary of York, as Diana.  She has a crescent moon in her hair, a bow & arrow & only the head of her dog companion is visible.

1666 Giovanni Maria Morandi (Italian painter, 1622-1717)  Claudia Felicitas of Austria as Diana.

1650 Jan van Mijtens (1613-1670) Lady as Diana. She has a tiny lap dog/hunting dog & carries a quiver on her back.

1650 Charles Beaubrun (Charles Bobrun) (French artist, 1604–1692) Portrait of a lady as Diana. She has a dog & a bow.

1640-50s Attributed to Giovanni Domenico Cerrini (Italian artist, 1609-1681) Christina, Queen of Sweden Alexandra Maria Vasa (1626-1689) as Diana. Here she has her dog & a hunting spear. The crescent moon hangs in the sky above them.

1640 Willem van Honthorst (Dutch artist, 1594-1666) Henriette von Nassau as Diana with her faithful hunting dogs, Syrius & Phocion.   She has a bow & quiver with feathers in her hair.

1630 Claude Deruet (French artist, 1588–1660) Marie de Rohan, Duchesse de Chevreuse as Diana the Huntress.  She has dogs, a bow & quiver, a hunting horn, & a crescent moon in her hair.

Jan Mytens (Dutch artist, 1614-1670) Lady as Diana

1667 Claude Lefèbvre (French painter, 1633–1675) Louise de La Vallière as Diana. She has a quiver & bow as well as her faithful hunting dogs, Syrius & Phocion.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

17C Garden Fountains Predict the Perfect, Proper Wife

Barend van Kalraet (Dutch artist, 1649-1737) Lady by a Fountain with a Parott

By the 17C & 18C, artists portrayed women & girls, often the eligible daughters of the patrons commissioning the portraits, near a fountain.  In these fountain settings, the young lady is often depicted in the mythical realm of Arcady, a fashionable conceit of the time. At the center of Arcady is the Garden of Love, where a figure of Cupid sits atop a fountain. The young lady places her hand in the flowing water...this is a motif much used by Van Dyke & Lely & it makes an allusion to her potential as a wife & mother, recalling Proverbs, Chapter 5, Verse 18 "Let thy fountain be blessed, & rejoice in the wife of thy youth."

Garden fountains were originally purely functional, connected to natural springs or aqueducts & used to provide water for drinking; water for bathing & washing; & water to nourish growing plants. The painting would announce to the viewer that the parent/patron had enough money, taste, & technological expertise to channel the water through an artistic garden fountain.  Water was now not just a necessary component of nature, the garden planner could make it an integral component of art both outdoors in his garden & indoors in the paintings on his walls.  He could not only interpret nature, he could control it.  And in this painting, he could announce his "natural" superiority, & might chose to have the portrait he has commissioned suggest that his young lady might be sexually appealing for the right marriage partner.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

17C Garden Fountains Predict the Perfect, Proper Wife

Nicolaes Maes (Dutch artist, 1634-1693) Catherine Peels

By the 17C & 18C, artists portrayed women & girls, often the eligible daughters of the patrons commissioning the portraits, near a fountain.  In these fountain settings, the young lady is often depicted in the mythical realm of Arcady, a fashionable conceit of the time. At the center of Arcady is the Garden of Love, where a figure of Cupid sits atop a fountain. The young lady places her hand in the flowing water...this is a motif much used by Van Dyke & Lely & it makes an allusion to her potential as a wife & mother, recalling Proverbs, Chapter 5, Verse 18 "Let thy fountain be blessed, & rejoice in the wife of thy youth."

Garden fountains were originally purely functional, connected to natural springs or aqueducts & used to provide water for drinking; water for bathing & washing; & water to nourish growing plants. The painting would announce to the viewer that the parent/patron had enough money, taste, & technological expertise to channel the water through an artistic garden fountain.  Water was now not just a necessary component of nature, the garden planner could make it an integral component of art both outdoors in his garden & indoors in the paintings on his walls.  He could not only interpret nature, he could control it.  And in this painting, he could announce his "natural" superiority, & might chose to have the portrait he has commissioned suggest that his young lady might be sexually appealing for the right marriage partner.

Monday, February 11, 2019

17C Garden Fountains Predict the Perfect, Proper Wife

1650 Attr David Des Granges (British artist, 1611-c.1671) Portrait of Elizabeth, Countess of Carnarvon(1633-1678)

By the 17C & 18C, artists portrayed women & girls, often the eligible daughters of the patrons commissioning the portraits, near a fountain.In these fountain settings, the young lady is often depicted in the mythical realm of Arcady, a fashionable conceit of the time. At the center of Arcady is the Garden of Love, where a figure of Cupid sits atop a fountain. The young lady places her hand in the flowing water...this is a motif much used by Van Dyke & Lely & it makes an allusion to her potential as a wife & mother, recalling Proverbs, Chapter 5, Verse 18 "Let thy fountain be blessed, & rejoice in the wife of thy youth."

Garden fountains were originally purely functional, connected to natural springs or aqueducts & used to provide water for drinking; water for bathing & washing; & water to nourish growing plants. The painting would announce to the viewer that the parent/patron had enough money, taste, & technological expertise to channel the water through an artistic garden fountain. Water was now not just a necessary component of nature, the garden planner could make it an integral component of art both outdoors in his garden & indoors in the paintings on his walls. He could not only interpret nature, he could control it. And in this painting, he could announce his "natural" superiority, & might chose to have the portrait he has commissioned suggest that his young lady might be sexually appealing for the right marriage partner.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

17C Garden Fountains Predict the Perfect, Proper Wife

Nicolaes Maes (Dutch artist, 1634-1693) Young Lady by a Fountain

By the 17C & 18C, artists portrayed women & girls, often the eligible daughters of the patrons commissioning the portraits, near a fountain.In these fountain settings, the young lady is often depicted in the mythical realm of Arcady, a fashionable conceit of the time. At the center of Arcady is the Garden of Love, where a figure of Cupid sits atop a fountain. The young lady places her hand in the flowing water...this is a motif much used by Van Dyke & Lely & it makes an allusion to her potential as a wife & mother, recalling Proverbs, Chapter 5, Verse 18 "Let thy fountain be blessed, & rejoice in the wife of thy youth."

Garden fountains were originally purely functional, connected to natural springs or aqueducts & used to provide water for drinking; water for bathing & washing; & water to nourish growing plants. The painting would announce to the viewer that the parent/patron had enough money, taste, & technological expertise to channel the water through an artistic garden fountain. Water was now not just a necessary component of nature, the garden planner could make it an integral component of art both outdoors in his garden & indoors in the paintings on his walls. He could not only interpret nature, he could control it. And in this painting, he could announce his "natural" superiority, & might chose to have the portrait he has commissioned suggest that his young lady might be sexually appealing for the right marriage partner.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

17C Garden Fountains Predict the Perfect, Proper Wife

Style of Caspar Netscher (Dutch artist, 1639-1684) Portrait of a Young Lady at a Fountain

By the 17C & 18C, artists portrayed women & girls, often the eligible daughters of the patrons commissioning the portraits, near a fountain.In these fountain settings, the young lady is often depicted in the mythical realm of Arcady, a fashionable conceit of the time. At the center of Arcady is the Garden of Love, where a figure of Cupid sits atop a fountain. The young lady places her hand in the flowing water...this is a motif much used by Van Dyke & Lely & it makes an allusion to her potential as a wife & mother, recalling Proverbs, Chapter 5, Verse 18 "Let thy fountain be blessed, & rejoice in the wife of thy youth."

Garden fountains were originally purely functional, connected to natural springs or aqueducts & used to provide water for drinking; water for bathing & washing; & water to nurish growing plants. The painting would announce to the viewer that the parent/patron had enough money, taste, & technological expertise to channel the water through an artistic garden fountain. Water was now not just a necessary component of nature, the garden planner could make it an integral component of art both outdoors in his garden & indoors in the paintings on his walls. He could not only interpret nature, he could control it. And in this painting, he could announce his "natural" superiority, & might chose to have the portrait he has commissioned suggest that his young lady was becoming sexually available for the right marriage partner.

Friday, February 8, 2019

17C Garden Fountains Predict the Perfect, Proper Wife

Peter Lely (English artist, 1618-1680) Unknown Lady at Fountain

By the 17C & 18C, artists portrayed women & girls, often the eligible daughters of the patrons commissioning the portraits, near a fountain.In these fountain settings, the young lady is often depicted in the mythical realm of Arcady, a fashionable conceit of the time. At the center of Arcady is the Garden of Love, where a figure of Cupid sits atop a fountain. The young lady places her hand in the flowing water...this is a motif much used by Van Dyke & Lely & it makes an allusion to her potential as a wife & mother, recalling Proverbs, Chapter 5, Verse 18 "Let thy fountain be blessed, & rejoice in the wife of thy youth."

Garden fountains were originally purely functional, connected to natural springs or aqueducts & used to provide water for drinking; water for bathing & washing; & water to nourish growing plants. The painting would announce to the viewer that the parent/patron had enough money, taste, & technological expertise to channel the water through an artistic garden fountain. Water was now not just a necessary component of nature, the garden planner could make it an integral component of art both outdoors in his garden & indoors in the paintings on his walls. He could not only interpret nature, he could control it. And in this painting, he could announce his "natural" superiority, & might chose to have the portrait he has commissioned suggest that his young lady might be sexually appealing for the right marriage partner.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

17C Garden Fountains Predict the Perfect, Proper Wife

1661 Peter Lely (English artist, 1618-1680) Anne Hyde, Duchess of York, 1637 - 1671. Became The First wife of James VII and II.

By the 17C & 18C, artists portrayed women & girls, often the eligible daughters of the patrons commissioning the portraits, near a fountain.In these fountain settings, the young lady is often depicted in the mythical realm of Arcady, a fashionable conceit of the time. At the center of Arcady is the Garden of Love, where a figure of Cupid sits atop a fountain. The young lady places her hand in the flowing water...this is a motif much used by Van Dyke & Lely & it makes an allusion to her potential as a wife & mother, recalling Proverbs, Chapter 5, Verse 18 "Let thy fountain be blessed, & rejoice in the wife of thy youth."

Garden fountains were originally purely functional, connected to natural springs or aqueducts & used to provide water for drinking; water for bathing & washing; & water to nourish growing plants. The painting would announce to the viewer that the parent/patron had enough money, taste, & technological expertise to channel the water through an artistic garden fountain. Water was now not just a necessary component of nature, the garden planner could make it an integral component of art both outdoors in his garden & indoors in the paintings on his walls. He could not only interpret nature, he could control it. And in this painting, he could announce his "natural" superiority, & might chose to have the portrait he has commissioned suggest that his young lady might be sexually appealing for the right marriage partner.