Encaustic on wood panel «Herons. Poseidon birds»

Yulia Mamontova
«Herons. Poseidon birds»
Encaustic on wood panel
33,4” х 55,1”
Painting was shown at the exhibition «Floral myths of Hellas», Russian Art Museum in Moscow (Russia, August. 2020).


Painting is dedicated to the sacred bird – the white heron. Heron is the sacred bird of Poseidon, its appearance was perceived as a favorable sign. “The heron appeared, flying on the right side, and although it was not possible to consider it properly, since it was night, but the cry of the heron delighted Odysseus” (“Iliad” of Homer). Special luck was promised by a white heron. According to how the heron hides, the weather was predicted with great accuracy, mainly rains and storms. The seafarers of the Mediterranean considered the heron the bird of Aphrodite and the patroness of the sailors. Like drink, a symbol of constant idle and laziness: in ancient Greece it was believed that these birds, hiding in reed thickets for days, were turned into a heron of slaves. When Aeneas destroyed the capital of the rutuli – the city of Ardeenus, among the ashes there were birds that were called in Latin: “Ardeae,” that is, the “genus of herons” (“Metamorphoses” of Ovid). According to Pliny the Elder, only the heron could shed tears from sadness and sadness.