The Iris convex mirror frame is made of composite material. I re-finished and gilded it gold leaf. Layers of transparent gold, yellow, clear,blue, red, green, topaz, violet colored Venetian glass rods are stacked on the “rays” of the sunburst. The center is made up of small glass cabochons.
This mirror is about 6.5 inches in diameter. It is in my studio until being shipped to one of my showrooms.
Iris Carrying the Water of the River Styx to Olympus for the Gods to Swear By, Guy Head, 1793.
IRIS was the goddess of the rainbow and the messenger of the Olympian gods. She was often described as the handmaiden and personal messenger of Hera. Iris was a goddess of sea and sky–her father Thaumas “the wondrous” was a marine-god, and her mother Elektra “the amber” a cloud-nymph. For the coastal-dwelling Greeks, the rainbow’s arc was most often seen spanning the distance beteween cloud and sea, and so the goddess was believed to replenish the rain-clouds with water from the sea. Iris had no distinctive mythology of her own. In myth she appears only as an errand-running messenger and was usually described as a virgin goddess. Her name contains a double meaning, being connected with both the Greek word iris “the rainbow” and eiris “messenger.”
Iris is depicted in ancient Greek vase painting as a beautiful young woman with golden wings, a herald’s rod (kerykeion), and sometimes a water-pitcher (oinochoe) in her hand. She was usually depicted standing beside Zeus or Hera, sometimes serving nectar from her jug. As cup-bearer of the gods Iris is often indistinguishable from Hebe in art.
Thank you to Theoi Greek Mythology
The wondrous Marilyn Horne at her peak at La Scala in 1981 as Juno in Handel’s opera Semele. She is instructing the goddess Iris to seek vengeance on the title character.
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The richness of the interior of Basilica San Vitale in Ravenna is truly mind boggling. All the mosaics are executed in the Hellenistic-Roman tradition: lively and imaginative, with rich colors and a certain perspective, and with a vivid depiction of the landscape, plants and birds. And the gold!