Mythology has always been a subject for art right from the first cave paintings. In western art the myths and legends of the Greeks and Romans have provide a rich sauce of subjects for generation’s of artists from Botticelli to Copyright.
Copyrights latest print is a re-interpretation of the painting ‘Proserpina ‘by the Pre-Raphaelite artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Proserpina is the Roman goddess of spring and where she walked new life would form, Greek she was called Persephone.
Proserpina was abducted by Pluto the ruler of the underworld so that he could marry her. Her mother Ceres, the goddess of agriculture, went looking for her and in her desperation stopped all plants from growing wherever she went. To try and stop this Jupiter ordered Pluto to release Proserpina, which he did but just before she left he made her eat four pomegranate seeds. Because those who have eaten the food of the dead could not return to the world of the living he hoped he could keep her with him.
Pluto then struck a deal with Jupiter, saying that since Proserpina had stolen his pomegranate seeds, she must stay with him four months of the year in return. For this reason, in spring when Ceres receives her daughter back, the crops blossom, and in summer they flourish. In the autumn Ceres changes the leaves to shades of brown and orange (her favourite colours) as a gift to Proserpina before she has to return to the underworld. During the time that Proserpina resides with Pluto as queen of the underworld, and the world above goes through winter, a time when the earth is barren.
Other artists who have taken inspiration from the Greek and Roman Myths and legends include Botticelli with his paintings the Birth of Venus and Venus and Mars and Titan with his painting Bacchus and Ariadne. These presented the myths in a form that reflect the aesthetics of renaissance art and fashion. Pre-Raphaelite painters such as John Waterhouse and Dante Gabriel Rossetti used Greek and Roman Myths and well as Celtic myths to inspire their paintings. More recently Zachary Walsh had a solo show of work at the Ink-d gallery which was inspired by Greek Myths including his limited edition print Aphrodite.