Encaustic on wood-fiber plate Diptych «Poppy. Flower of Hypnos and Tanatos and sons of the night»

Yulia Mamontova
Diptych «Poppy. Flower of Hypnos and Tanatos and sons of the night»
Encaustic on wood-fiber plate high density
39,3” х 31,4”
Painting was shown at the exhibition «Floral myths of Hellas», Russian Art Museum in Moscow (Russia, August. 2020).


Painting is dedicated to a surprisingly beautiful flower – red poppy. God of the kingdom of the dead Hades kidnapped Persephone, the daughter of Demeter. The goddess tirelessly continued to search for her disappeared daughter. The gods did not know how to alleviate her suffering, and then it was decided to create a flower that could give the goddess at least temporary oblivion and rest. Tearing down scarlet poppies in her path, Demetra gained a whole hoop and, inhaling its aroma, plunged into sleep. Everyone rejoiced at the flowers that Flora decorated the earth with, and only Night was not happy – she wandered around her head with a black veil, saddened that people did not love her, although she created stars and firefly bugs to illuminate them with night darkness. And seeing how people rejoice in flowers, the goddess of the Night asked Flora to give her such a flower so that people would love the night when they saw him. Flora gave her poppies, flowers, giving people sweet dreams and dreams at night. The goddess of Night had two twin sons – Hypnos (Roman Morpheus), the god of sleep, and Tanatos, the god of death. The mac was woven into the wreaths of both brothers: at Hypnos with heads, at Tanatos with flowers. It was believed that dense thickets of flowering poppies stretched around the dwelling of Morpheus, and light dreams rested in each of them. When the sleep god wanted to put someone to sleep, he had only to touch him with the head of a poppy, and he fell asleep. Dreams were very different, because in only a box of poppy there are almost thirty thousand small seeds. The goddess of fertility Demeter first saw poppies in the city, which in honor of this was given the name “Poppy” (Sikion); there was erected the temple of Demetre. The abundance of seeds made poppy a symbol of fertility. His flowers began to adorn the temple of Hera – the supreme goddess and patroness of marriage. Poppy leaves dedicated to Mother Hera were used for predictions, and with the help of petals, the girls wondered about their beloved. Elena Beautiful alleviated the suffering of soldiers wounded during the Trojan War with poppy juice. In Greece, poppy seeds were used as a seasoning for food, and also given with wine and honey to athletes preparing for the Olympic Games.