Archive for the Palissy Category

The Bounty of Demeter,a moment of praise

Posted in 17th century, 18th century, 19th cent., Demeter, Frederic Leighton, Hendrick Goltzius, Palissy, Peter Paul Rubens on November 22, 2010 by babylonbaroque

As the frantic rush for the upcoming day of gluttony fasts approaches , I have turned to thoughts of Demeter, goddess of the Harvest.

Ceres mit zwei Nymphen

Peter Paul Rubens

Franz Snyder

ca. 1620-1628

source

Demeter is best known for the horror of her loss, her  beloved daughter Persephone swept to the underworld in a rage of Pluto’s lust. In her anguish, Demeter tears cause the world to chill, germinating seed wither within their husks, and man huddles hungry and fearful, at the mercy of his gods.

Pluto and Proserpina

ca. 1565-1571

Vincenzo de Rossi

bronze

V&A

Pluto Abducting Proserpine

Francois Girardon

ca. 1693-1710

bronze

The Getty Center, Los Angeles

Of course this situation cannot continue, if the altar remain bare, will the gods continue to exist?

Worship provides the deities identity.

Like a marriage gone awry, Demeter and Pluto arrange visitation rights.  Having tasted of the Fruit of the Dead, the pomegranate, Persephone will remain in Hades one month per kernel eaten.The Earth shall remain darkened by Demeter’s shroud of grief until this time has passed.

Upon release, Persephone back in the arms of devoted Demeter, seed will once again sprout, life will begin anew.

The Return of Persephone

1891

Frederic Leighton

It is indeed time to give thanks.

Statue of Ceres

oil on wood

ca. 1612-1615

Peter Paul Rubens

Hermitage, St.Petersburg

source

Demeter, or her Roman equivalent have been a popular motif in fine and decorative arts. The allusions to bounty and the table too great a temptation.

Ceres

17th cent., after 1652

after design by Michel Anguier

bronze

V&A

From bronze to porcelain her figure has delighted.

The Goddess Ceres

ca. 1765

William Dueberg and Company

soft paste porcelain

V&A

I have a great fondness for the theme Without Bacchus and Ceres , Venus Grows Cold, the artist Hendrick Goltzius was particularly adept at depicting the scene; lewd and  provocative, they still delight.

ca.1602

 

 

ca.1599

Perhaps more chaste, yet no less delightful, this calling card depicts our Goddess o’ Plenty.

Decorative Design

ca. 1750

artist unknown

pen and ink, red chalk on paper

V&A

Demeter continued to be a popular theme well into the 19th century as this staged image attests.

Actress Fanny Coleman as Ceres

Guy Little Theatrical Photograph

1864

V&A

As no Thanksgiving spread is complete without a gravy boat, I thought this little number would suit the theme.

Sauce Boat

ca.1550-1600

Bernard Palissy

Paris

lead glazed earthenware

V&A

Wishing everyone the bounty of the season,

Happy Thanksgiving!

Babylon Baroque


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