Wednesday, 1 January 2020


In Botticelli's painting "The Birth of Venus", there are some other personages present except the goddess of beauty and love.  At the left the wind god Zephyr blows towards Venus, with the breeze shown by lines radiating from his mouth. He is in the air, and carries a young female, who is also blowing, but less forcefully. Both have wings. Vasari was probably correct in identifying thee woman held by Zephyr as "Aura", personification of a lighter breeze. Their joint efforts are blowing Venus towards the shore, where Flora, the goddess of flowers is awaiting with a robe to dress the newly born, naked Venus.

Zephyrus, sometimes known in English as just Zephyr (Ζέφυρος, Zéphyros), in Latin Favonius, is the Greek god of the west wind. The gentlest of the winds, Zephyrus is known as the fructifying wind, the messenger of spring. It was thought that Zephyrus lived in a cave in Thrace.

Zephyrus was reported as having several wives in different stories. He was said to be the husband of Iris, goddess of the rainbow. He abducted the goddess Chloris, and gave her the domain of flowers. With Chloris, he fathered Karpos ("Fruit"). He is said to have vied for Chloris's love with his brother Boreas, eventually winning her devotion. Additionally, with yet another sister and lover, the harpy Podarge (also known as Celaeno), Zephyrus was said to be the father of Balius and Xanthus, Achilles' horses.

In the story of Cupid and Psyche, Zephyrus served Eros (or Cupid) by transporting Psyche to his abode. Zephyrus was also claimed to have killed one of Apollo's many male lovers Hyacinth out of jealousy. Hyacinth was killed by a discus thrown by Apollo. Though according to some sources, his death was said to be an accident, others said that Zephyrus was the true culprit, having blown the discus off course.

This post is part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme,
and also part of the My Corner of the World.


  1. A lovely piece of art with such soap-opera antics behind the scenes :)

    It's so nice to see you at 'My Corner of the World'!

    My Corner of the World

  2. Love the beautiful painting.

    Happy 2020!

  3. zephyr is one of those words I just love