Friday, August 29, 2008


Myths, folklore, and symbolism
Apple: By tradition, but not by scriptural authority, the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, perhaps a borrowing by early Christian artists from the classical image of the golden apple tree of the Hesperides; hence a symbol of the Fall of Man and, when held by the infant Christ, an allusion to his future mission as Redeemer. An apple in the mouth of an ape has a similar meaning. Golden apples are the attribute of vigilance personified, and of the harpies that accompany avarice. They are picked up by a maiden overtaken by a running youth (Atalanta and Hippomenes). A golden apple was thrown down into the banquet of the gods, and was later awarded by Paris to Venus. The apple is an attribute of Venus. Apples are the attribute of the three graces, handmaidens of Venus, and, with roses in the basket, of Dorothea. (Dictionary of Subjects & Symbols in Art)

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