“La Déesse de Mont Lassois” 2013 Oil and Acrylic on Wood, 100 X 161 X 1 cm

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We live in a place with a long history of human occupation, and the physical features of the landscape, especially the rivers, have been recognized as having sacred names, identities, and a mythical presence. Perhaps because I am new to the place, I am in a state of wonder about it all. Most rivers in France are given feminine identities (la Seine, la Loire, etc.) One exception is le Rhône, which is masculine. Part of this can be explained simply by the nature of the French language, which divides everything by gender, as do Spanish, Italian, and the other Romance languages. But what was the motive before the Romans ever showed up around here? The Gauls had a goddess named Sequanna, whose river was this one…the Seine. (There’s a glimpse of the river in the centre left of this image, above the house.) Additionally, the ruins of a palace have been discovered on Mont Lassois, the site of this painting. It is speculated that it could have been the palace of the “Lady of Vix” (this village, below), whose tomb was discovered in 1953 and held the Vase de Vix, a very important bronze vessel of Greek origin. Although the painting is charged with local mythology, I hope it also exists on a level that speaks to everybody.