Solid oak panel «Grape heart»

Yulia Mamontova
«Grape heart»
Solid oak panel, encaustic
24,4″ х 24,4″
Painting was shown at the exhibition «Floral myths of Hellas», Russian Art Museum in Moscow (Russia, August. 2020).


I like to read the myths of ancient Greece and visualize legends in my own way. This painting is dedicated to the ancient Greek history of grapes. Dionysus – in ancient Greek mythology, the youngest of the Olympians, the god of vegetation, viticulture, winemaking, the productive forces of nature, inspiration. In a grape wreath with an ivy-decorated tears in his hands, Dionysus marches around the world, in a fast dance, young menadas swirl around him with singing and screaming; clumsy satires with tails and goat’s feet will jump from the wine. Intoxication was seen as a convergence on the drinking spirit of the wine of Dionysus- Bacchus. One of Dionysus’s epithets was Lieus (“liberator”), because wine frees people from worldly worries, removes the ways of measured life from them, crushes hardships. Dionysus-Bacchus taught people to breed grapes and make wine from its heavy ripe bunches. Once he went to the desert coast of the sea. In the distance, a sail was seen. It was a ship of sea robbers. They quickly docked, went ashore, captured Dionysus and took him to the ship. Upon coming to the ship, the robbers wanted to bury Dionysus in heavy chains, but they fell down the bodies of a young god. The robbers of the sail lifted, and the ship went out into the open sea. Suddenly, a miracle occurred: incense wine streamed through the ship, and all the air was filled with fragrance. The robbers cordoned off with amazement. But on the sails the vines with heavy bunches were gelled; dark green ivy wrapped around the mast; When the robbers saw all this, they began to pray for the wise feeding to rule rather to the shore. But the young man turned into a lion and with a formidable roar stood on the deck, violently twinkling his eyes. Having lost hope of salvation, the robbers rushed one after another into sea waves, and Dionysus turned them into dolphins. After that, he adopted his former image and, smiling kindly, said: “I am Dionysus, the son of the thunderbolt Zeus and the daughter of Cadmus, Semela!” The Greek name of the grape comes from the name of Dionysus’s favorite – the young man Ampel (Greek “grape”). God gave his favorite a grape bunch, hanging it high on a tree. Having risen behind her, the young man fell, crashed and was turned into a constellation.