Among my most
favorite paintings is Primavera, by the Italian Renaissance
painter Sandro Botticelli (c. 1482). Commissioned by the Medici
family, this masterpiece is part of the collection of the Uffizi
Gallery in Florence, Italy. The painting features six female
figures, two male figures and a winged putto (a cupid-style figure
depicted as a blind-folded chubby male child with bow, arrow
and quiver) in an orange grove. This tremendous painting (80
in x 124 in) is very elaborate and has the appearance of Flemish
tapestries. In this masterpiece, Botticelli painted over 500
identifiable plant species and about 190 flower varieties.
Many of the flowers
are adorning one figure, that of Flora. She is known in Greek
and Roman mythology as the Goddess of flowering plants, especially
those that bear fruit. She has flower garlands in her hair and
around the neckline of her bodice. Her gown is embroidered with
flowers and leaves. Flora's gown is pulled up in the front to
create a pouch so she can carry an armful of cut flowers.
many as the Goddess of Spring, ancient Rome created a festival
called Floralia to honor her. Originally a moveable feast to
coincide with the blossoming of the plants, later developing
into a full on festival as time passed. Attendees were treated
to dancing, gladiator contests, horse racing, theatrical performances,
circus events, and of course a lot of food and wine. Modern day
Floralia Festivals are still quite an event all over Europe.
In Florence, Italy this modern day festival coincides with the
of Floralia" is the result of my inspiration, gleaned from
this lovely painting, and is dedicated to Flora and the celebration
of her bounty. The bracelet is constructed in a series of frames
that hold a track of grape leaves and a pearl embellishment.
The frames are peyote stitch strips connected to tubular peyote
stitch bars of beadwork. The bars add structure and end with
pearl incrusted caps. The grape leaves are constructed in a netting
technique and peyote stitch. A structural undercarriage addition
helps to shape the bracelet. "The Celebration of Floralia"
ends in two beaded buttons and beaded loops.
Bracelet dimensions: 1 ½" wide
by desired length
Techniques: Flat peyote stitch using
step-up/step-down, Stitch-in-the-ditch, Edge-stitching, Embellishing
Skill level: Advanced