Demeter is the Greek goddess of agriculture, fertility and harvest and represents the autumn season. Her daughter, Persephone, is the goddess of Spring. In Greek mythology the story of Demeter and Persephone is used to explain the order of the seasons and goes like this: Persephone was captured by the god of the underworld, Hades. Upon discovering Hades' terrible crime, Demeter, in her anger and bereavement, punished the world for the loss of her daughter by causing crops to die and creating a great famine. Eventually, Zeus, king of the gods, intervened and ordered Hades to return Persephone to her mother. Before doing so, Hades convinced Persephone to eat six pomegranate seeds knowing that eating just these small morsels while in the Underworld would ensure that she would have to return to him for six months of each year. Demeter's joy at her reunion with her daughter brings the spring/growing season/end of famine. When Persephone is forced to return to Hades in the fall, Demeter's sadness brings the fall and winter. This lovely Art Nouveau pendant features Demeter with a crown of wheat and hangs from a new 16" 14k gold chain.
ART NOUVEAU (1890-1910)
Art Nouveau gets its name from the Maison de l’art Nouveau, a French art gallery that supported artists and designers working in the new fluid, sensual style. Leading jewelers put more emphasis on the purity and beauty of the design, and less on how it functioned as a product.
The female nude and her flowing hair appeared frequently, alongside dreamy, romantic semiprecious stones like moonstone, opal, aquamarine, tourmaline, and peridot. Art Nouveau jewelers, often influenced by depictions of nature in Japanese art, looked to the natural world for inspiration. Orchids, irises, lilies, ferns, snakes, dragonflies, and butterflies were all prevalent motifs. Exquisite enamel work and simpler gem cuts like the the rounded cabochon were favored. The organic shapes of freshwater pearls, shells, coral branches, and turquoise in matrix were admired for their roughness.