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Art Show: State & National Flowers

Percy Shelley: On a Faded Violet

by Patience

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Art: Percy Shelley: On a Faded Violet by Artist Patience



 This painting,"Percy Shelley: On a Faded Violet", is my entry for the EBSQ August 2015 "State Flowers" exhibit.

I've lived in two states in my life, Illinois and Wisconsin.  It just so happens that the official flower for both the Violet.  Even though show participants could have painted any flower associated with any state regardless where they live for this exhibit, I took this wee coincidence as a sign that I had best paint a violet in some fashion or another....

And so naturally, as those familiar with my work know I am want to do (because I am an admitted geekish book-nerd), I looked for inspiration amongst one of my favorite sources:  Classic Western Poetry.  Thanks to the help of a friend, I found it in this little poem, written as it was in 1818 by one of England's most renowned poets of the Romantic era, Percy Bysshe Shelley...:

On a Faded Violet,
by Percy Bysshe Shelley

The odour from the flower is gone

Which like the kisses breather on me;

The colour from the flower is flown

Which glowed of thee and only thee!

A shrivelled, lifeless, vacant form,

It lies on my abandoned breast;

And mocks the heart, which yet is warm

With cold and silent rest.

I weep -- my tears revive it not;

I sigh -- it breathes no more on me:

Its must and uncomplaining lot

Is such as mine should be.


Being as that Mr. Shelley is best known for his lengthy, verbose Epic Poetry, this wee rhyme might be considered down-right succinct in comparison.  Short yet sweet (or bittersweet in this case), I was moved by the romance and poignancy of Shelley's few, carefully chosen lines (all the more so in light of Shelley's own highly unconventional and complicated personal life....!).  As such I chose to paint a portrait in tribute to this master poet, with a sad, drooping blossom perched dispiritedly upon his collar, and deep melancholy in his eyes.  Though the flower may be faded, I made up for its lack of color by painting the background a brilliant violet hue (one of my favorite colors which sadly I don't often find myself occasion to use), while adding in script the first line of the poem around the edge of the painting.

This piece, "Percy Shelley: "On a Faded Violet...", is my latest in a long series of painted odes in personal tribute to my favorite literary authors and poets....

Detail Images

Detail Image for art Percy Shelley: On a Faded Violet

Percy Shelley: "On a Faded Violet"

Detail Image for art Percy Shelley: On a Faded Violet

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