Sunday, April 26, 2009


Thanks to Laura, I had an interesting time reading on the net about Persephone, and I found this wonderful image of her (artist not acknowledged... pre Raphaelite? Anyone know?). She is clutching the pomegranate offered to her by her husband and uncle, Hades (who was foisted upon her by her father, Zeus),and of which she ate just 7 seeds. Having tasted the fruit, she was bonded to spend part of each year in the underworld with Hades. Her mother Demeter, Greek goddess of the abundant harvest mourned her absence each year by withdrawing her favours from the Earth. Hence winter. With Persephone's return from her marital and underworld duties, Demeter restored growth and fertility in Spring.
"In Greek mythology Persephone, goddess of the soul, is the possessor of its dark and frightening wisdom. But the goddess Persephone is also the harbinger of spring . . . and a reminder of all the growth and hope that it brings. "
Interesting parallels with Eve? Without the concept of sin... the polytheist vs the monotheist approach? I find it all very interesting, and love the stories.


Cathy Gatland said...

Thanks for looking that up and enlightening me, for one - I've heard the story, but long ago and foggy in my mind. What a lovely one it is, and painting too (I was relieved to find that you hadn't done it!;)

laura said...

Gorgeous painting--I love that shade of green; and that face that I always think of as Pre-Raphaelite, so sensitive and pensive. And such elegant hands.
I had a huge book of myths from around the world when I was a kid and always loved the story of Demeter and Persephone.

A Brush with Color said...

I think this is Dante Gabriel Rossetti's work--I love it. Caught my eye right away at Laura's website. Lovely post.

Vivienne said...

Thank you for answering the big Q, Suzanne. It is the most divine work, isn't it?
Laura, the Greek myths provide great stories, don't they? Hercules is another favourite character, with fascinating parallels in other cultures.
Well, Cathy, if there was a small moment when you thought I might have done it... well eat your heart out, Susan Boyle!

Cathy Gatland said...

You could well have done it, your paintings always astound me, they are so good - while I don't like to admit to entertaining the green-eyed monster, I had a good laugh of recognition at this quote by Gore Vidal on Julie Oakley's blog: "Whenever a friend succeeds, a little something in me dies" Ha ha - it really doesn't afflict me often but every now and then some childish voice whines, hey, that's not fairrr!

Vivienne said...

Ha ha funny quote.. so apt!Also a sincere form of flattery!
'Freudenschade' is German name for the other side of it... rejoicing in the misfortune of others.I have experienced it on occasion, to my immediate and everlasting shame!
I never look at your works with green eyes however...they are just in a different ball park.