If the portraits in “Everyday Gods & Goddesses” seem almost alive — if you think you see their eyes wink as you turn your head, and you wonder if they visit each other, Harry Potter-style, at night — well, that’s just your imagination. But these paintings do have stories, both ancient and modern, behind the canvas. Today’s tale: Flora.
“Jeanne is a perfect Flora … she is never without fresh basil.” — Linda Lawler, placard for Flora
Did you know today is a holiday?
No, not World Pinhole Photography Day — think older. April 28 is the first day of the ancient Roman festival of Floralia, celebrating the arrival of Spring and the goddess of flowers and plant life, Flora. One of 13 gods & goddesses reimagined in Linda Lawler’s “Everyday Gods & Goddesses” exhibit, Flora is depicted above as the artist’s friend Jeanne. (You can see Lawler working on the painting in this video.)
Floralia lasted through May 3 and was marked with games, theater, and the release of goats and hares. Revelers also threw beans at spectators — sounds like a party!
Flora is famous as the goddess of flowers, but art-lovers in particular may have something else to thank her for:
“I was first to scatter fresh seeds among countless peoples,
Till then the earth had been a single color.”
— Flora, in Ovid’s Fasti
Come see the colors in person, through May 6 — they’re better than on your computer screen.