Friday, April 27, 2007

Mir's Favorite Childhood Painting

Over at Elliot's blog, he posted a detail of Flora from PRIMAVERA by Botticelli.

It reminded me of the hours I spent looking at this painting in a huge book of World History. I believe it was around page 720 or so, a two-page spread of PRIMAVERA that my sickly, little girl self used to escape the misery of a body that didn't work so well, but a mind that worked fine. (Ah, to have the robust mind of my youth.)

I thought surely those were the loveliest women ever painted, and the loveliest gowns, and that if we had never fallen in Eden, the world would be populated by people dressed in flowery gowns and tunics picking flowers and fruit and dancing and just having an eternal springtime.

Okay, I was young and dreamy.

But part of me still has dreams like that, if not so often, and if much less Greekly mythological.

That book of World History and my dog-eared volume of Bulfinch's mythology got me through various episodes of bronchitis and flu and pneumonia. And when I closed the pages of that history tome, I'd dream of going to Florence, to the Uffizi, and seeing this most wondrous of works in real life.

And I believe my love affair with spec fic began early with fairy tales and was consilidated, later, with those great paintings of gods and goddesses and those myths.