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Cynthia Rutledge - Contemporary Designs of Timeless Elegance
The Celebration of Floralia
©2015 by Cynthia Rutledge

The Celebration of Floralia ©2015 by Cynthia Rutledge

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.

Considered by 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 wine harvest.

"The Celebration 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

 


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