Farewell, Persephone pays homage to a myth of transformation, grief, and resurrection. The arrangement is altar-esque, the after effect of tragedy, abduction of a child.
Persephone, collecting the blossoms of spring with her maiden friends has strayed too far. And Hades, forever lying in wait, opened the earth and whisked her away in his black chariot. We are left with clues: a wreath of flowers, a virginal white veil, a sickle and wheat, all illuminated by the firelight of the underworld below.
And how her mother grieved. And wandered, and searched. What of the kindly man, this gardener to Hades, who took pity upon Demeter and whispered her daughter’s position? How could he know that for evermore his utterances would be those of an owl and that he would give up his life while the child’s fate was cast as she nibbled on the seeds of a pomegranate?
As Demeter’s grief turned to rage the earth scorched, starved and died. The only reprieve was the child’s return but rebirth is impermanent, and the world without end.
Persephone’s bags are packed and return she does. Our eyes circle through the painting, wheat leads to white flowers and obscures the death card. At this moment, our gaze is drawn to the wreath of wildflowers reminding us of spring and rebirth, and of eternal hope.
Melody Phaneuf is a Boston Artist, working at Fenway Studios. Phaneuf is well known for her evocative still life and landscape paintings and has achieved significant acclaim for portraiture. She has exhibited at Galerie Herouet in Paris, The National Arts Club in New York City, and with Art du Monde, a traveling exposition in Japan. Phaneuf’s paintings are regularly displayed at the Guild of Boston Artists, 162 Newbury Street, Boston, MA.
Melody The Artist Home, founded with photographer and color specialist, Martha DiMeo showcases the artist’s original paintings on tumbled marble tile murals and coasters, fine art prints, and handmade note cards. Online ordering at MelodyTheArtist.com/shop
Farewell, Persephone, 42 x 48 oil painting by Melody Phaneuf
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