Fan leaf of parchment(?) on which with tempera at the front a 'Floralia' with Vestal virgins and on the back a medallion with two playing, naked children and a poem, between two cornucopias, birds and butterflies, anonymous, c. 1700 Canvas Print

Fan leaf of parchment(?) on which with tempera at the front a 'Floralia' with Vestal virgins and on the back a medallion with two playing, naked children and a poem, between two cornucopias, birds and butterflies, anonymous, c. 1700 Canvas Print

Fan sheet of parchment(?) on which a representation is painted on both sides with tempera. Front: full-leaf performance, in which a Vestal virgin offering incense in a golden barrel is central. The composition seems to be made up of two parts: on the left, an architectural environment with perspective view of a walled garden with a shell-shaped fountain and buildings and mountains in the background; on the right, a garden with pond(?) and mountains in the background. In the kollonade on the left appears the Abundance, which walks with a cornucopia in her hand in the direction of the women, who bring flowers and wreaths to the image of Flora, placed in an alcove between the busts of an unknown god and of the goddess Artemis/Diana. To the right of the sacrificial Virgin sits a sad-looking woman, the Melancholy (daughter of Kronos/Saturn) watching two dancing children, who cannot mount her. She is seated on an octagonal stone, which refers to the fact that Saturn is also the god of geometry. On the left side of the foreground there is precious crockery and on the right you can see a small water with flowering plants. The performance is surrounded by a narrow golden border with shell motifs and gridwork. The elaboration of the foreground is the painter's own invention, the rest is after Abraham Blooteling's (engraver) engraving 'Aetas Aurea' (published by Nicolaas Visscher, Amsterdam) by G. de Lairesse's painting 'L'age d'or' or 'The Golden Age', which will have been painted between 1667 and 1670. Blooteling presents 'The Golden Age' in the form of a Floralia; a feast in honor of the originally Sabine goddess of fertility, Flora, who later became the Roman goddess of grain, wine and all blossom. On 28 April 238 BC Chr. was ordained her temple and from that day between April 28 and the first days of May, the 'Floralia'. This multi-day festival had its origins in the farmer's calendars, with a sacrifice to Flora traditionally made on 3 May. When the party in 238 BC. Chr. was institutionalized it retained its peasant character according to contemporaries. The 'Floralia' marked the most important moment in grain cultivation, namely the flowering time. When it can proceed undisturbed, successful fertilization will take place and the farmer can look forward to a good harvest. Blooming flowers played an important role in the party as a snink for the table, as a garland or to sprinkle loosely. In procession, flower and grain garlands were brought to temples and statues of Flora to decorate them. Back: on a low pedestal is placed a medallion, which is crowned by two horns of plenty from which garlands depend. In the medallion a depiction of two naked children playing whose left hand holds a number of ears of corn and in his right hand a round ball or fruit. The right child has a wreath of flowers around his head. Below the poem:'The sweet spring wants to give us beautiful bloe/men/the oegst schenckt now tter fruit/ one cannot live on smell/ life.' Here too, the fan painter used a printed source, following the engraving 'Allegory on spring and summer' by Hendrik Bary (published by Nicolaas Visscher, Amsterdam) after a lost painting by Antoon van Dyck. What Van Dyck's painting probably looked like can be deduced from the two so far known copies, one of which is in the Rijksmuseum's collection. The seemingly symmetrical decoration of the back of the fan blade, on closer inspection, acquires an asymmetrical character through the fruit garland with birds on the left and the flower garland with butterflies on the right. The whole is surrounded by an edge of semi-rosettes in circles.

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