Flora is the Roman goddess of the flowers, associated with spring. This painting is clearly inspired by Botticelli’s work, it was made entirely in Florence, as a celebration of the city and its Renaissance artists.
Evelyn de Morgan was an English painter, her works were influenced by the style of Pre-Raphaelite movement, in fact she was a follower of Edward Burne-Jones. Her paintings exhibit spirituality, mythological, biblical and literary themes; dualities such as life and death or light and darkness as metaphors; allegories of war and the role of women.
The goddess is depicted in front of a nescola or loquat tree wich bears fruits in the spring. Her robe is patterned with Florentine flowers. Some blossoms drop from her hands and lie scattered in front of her feet. We can also see little birds within the tree.
This painting is inspired by two paintings of Botticelli: Primavera and The Birth of Venus.
The stance in Flora is inspired by The Birth of Venus, with the protagonist in the centre, the way the wind seems to move the hair.
But the goddess’ gown is inspired by Flora’s gown in Primavera.
Apparently this painting is an amalgam , but still seems completely original, maybe because De Morgan presents the goddess alone, as the sole focus of the painting; while in both Botticelli’s paintings the two goddesses are surrounded by others figures.
The scroll at the bottom of the painting, near of her feet reads (in Italian):
“I come down from Florence and am Flora,
This city takes its name from flower
Among the flowers I was born and now by a change of home
I have my dwelling among the mountains of Scotia
Welcome, and let me treasure amid northern mists be dear to you. “