3. this invisible and indomitable force ...
so mysterious that Greco-Roman mythology has personified it as Boreas
or Zephyr –
this beautiful winged young man who, with swollen cheeks, blows to spin the flowers and hair of Botticelli’s famous Birth of Venus
6. Venus, the Roman goddess of love, beauty, fertility
has just been birthed
we witness her arrival to the shores of Cyprus
in a giant scallop shell propelled
by the vigorous gusts of the west wind, Zephyr and Aura,
the personification of a lighter breeze.
In Greek mythology, Zephyrus is the personification
of the gentle west or northwest wind, associated with spring.
He was depicted as a winged youth,
and holding a basket of spring flowers in his hand.
The Birth of Venus
La Naissance de Vénus
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence
9. Sandro Botticelli’s huge masterpiece
set the benchmark for visual art,
in telling the story of Zephyrus and Flora.
The west wind abducted and raped the nymph Chloris
who was then transformed into the goddess Flora,
representing the Spring.
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence
13. Just over a century later, in about 1618, Jan Brueghel the Elder
and the young Peter Paul Rubens joined forces to paint their
Flora and Zephyr …
Flora collecting flowers dropped into a red sheet by Zephyrus,
with two putti assisting.
Jan Brueghel the Elder and Peter Paul Rubens
Jan Brueghel l'Ancien et Peter Paul Rubens
Flora and Zephyr
Flore et Zéphyr
Schloss Mosigkau, Dessau-Roßlau
16. The moment when Zephyr sees the nymph Chloris for the first time.
Such was her passion that she aroused in him
that he kidnapped her from her,
throwing a garland of white flowers around her,
and made her his wife by her strength.
Repentant after her and as proof of her love,
he transformed her into Flora,
goddess of spring, giving her an immense garden
"I, who now call myself Flora, used to be Chloris"...
She enjoyed an eternal spring...my husband covered this garden
with flowers and told me:
You, goddess, hold the sovereignty of flowers".
Ovid's Fasti V.
John William Waterhouse
Flora and the Zephyrs
Flora et les Zéphyrs
20. Boreas in his classical guise :
a roughly-bearded old man with wings sweeping Orithyia up in his arms.
A cluster of Cupids are engaged in a snowball fight: a lovely touch of humour,
and a subtle reference to winter.
In Greek mythology, Boreas is the personification of the North Wind
and harbinger of winter.
In art, he is usually depicted as a bearded, older man.
He is mostly known for his abduction of the Athenian princess Orithyia.
Peter Paul Rubens
Boreas Abducting Orithyia or The Rape of Orithyia by Boreas
L'Enlèvement d'Orithye par Boreas
Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Gemäldegalerie, Vienna
23. A full Rococo interpretation in Boreas Abducting Orithyia ...
Boreas devoting his efforts to blowing his wind at Orithyia’s friends
the ground to the right bearing witness to his destructive force.
Borée enlevant Orithye
Boreas Abducting Oreithyia
Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth
27. Boreas retreating beneath the hooves of Phoebus’s horse,
the clouds pushed aside by the Sun God’s advance ...
Phoebus, God of the Sun, and Boreas, God of the North Wind,
made a bet about which of them could get a traveler to remove his cloak.
The cold wind made the man pull his clothes more tightly around him
but the rays of the sun had the opposite effect.
Phoebus and Boreas (Phébus et Borée, VI.3) in La Fontaine's Fables.
Phébus et Borée
Phoebus and Boreas
Musée National Gustave Moreau, Paris
30. this invisible and indomitable force...
that fascinates artists by the challenge of reproducing the softness of a breeze, or the violence of a storm
31. showing wind ...
one of the first works to use highlights
over the foliage of trees to make them look
as if they are moving in the wind
Landscape with Cottage and Church
Paysage avec maison et église
Yale Center for British Art, New Haven
33. The Approaching Storm ...
still-sunlit mountain range in the far distance
The landscape is probably a site in the Forest of Fontainebleau,
a vast expanse of virtually untouched forest a short distance from
Courbet's inclusion of the mountain range, which does not exist
in proximity to the forest, transforms this very realistic setting
into a type of fantasy.
La Rafale de Vent
The Gust of Wind
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
36. A great oak tree is torn from its roots as the wind ravages the landscape
a small peasant figure - the human being in the face of the force of nature
Le coup de vent
The Gust of Wind
National Museum of Wales / Amgueddfa Cymru, Cardiff, Wales
39. The foliage shaken by the wind ...
the trees are no longer a picturesque element or an anthropomorphized creature,
but the medium through which the artist expresses the sensations arising
from his direct experience of nature
Effet de vent, série des Peupliers
Wind Effect, Series of The Poplars
Musée d’Orsay, Paris
42. dark clouds above an angry sea,
a shipwrecked boat and its anxious survivors ...
the powerful force of nature over man.
Claude Joseph Vernet
Tempête sur une côte méditerranéenne
A Storm on a Mediterranean Coast
J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
45. this invisible and indomitable force...
that lifts skirts, that throws umbrellas on the beach and that attracts the painters of modern life.
46. The lively traffic on the Pont des Arts ...
A gust of wind leaves dignified gentlemen clutching their top hats
friskily lifts the skirts of a chic young woman, revealing a naughty
glimpse of petticoat.
Le Pont des Arts par grand vent
A Windy Day on the Pont des Arts
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
50. A scene of Parisian life ...
the bustling Pont des Arts,
a gust of wind,
the men clutching their hats,
a young artist
a pretty young milliner laden with hat boxes,
who in turn sends a coquettish glance towards the viewer.
Modiste sur le Pont des Arts
Milliner on the Pont des Arts
54. the wind,
the slippery rocks,
a fashionable hat,
a cloud of ribbons and lace
a very pink 'gallant' young lady
An example of how to paint a young girl look windswept
(... although her partner seems mysteriously to be unaffected
by the breeze).
Georges Jules Victor Clairin
Elegant Couple at the Coast
Un couple élégant sur la côte
57. The wind pleases the painters of modern life, who are looking
for original compositions ...
By lifting the skirts and sowing disorder ...
Stampede on the beach,
the wind becomes a simple entertaining element of everyday life,
flips umbrellas on the beach, scares away small dogs
fly away the ribbons of hats
Coup de vent à Trouville
Gust of wind at Trouville
Musée d'Orsay, Paris
60. A delightful scene ...
a gust of wind on the Pont des Saints-Pères
whipping the manes of the team of horses pulling an omnibus,
threatening to blow away one woman’s hat
lifting the coat skirt of another lady Parisian, whose fur boa
is whirling in the wind.
Bourrasque sur le pont des Saints-Pères
ou Coup de vent sur un pont de la Seine
Gust of Wind on a Bridge over the Seine
Kunsthalle Bremen, Bremen